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Cyclists Welcome Release of Draft Strategy

MEDIA RELEASE - For immediate use

Cyclists Welcome Release of Draft Strategy

The Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) is welcoming the draft National Walking and Cycling Strategy 'Getting There', and wants New Zealanders to get in behind it. "This is about giving people more choice about how they travel. For many journeys, the bicycle is an ideal way to get around, and we hope that the Strategy will create the conditions that enable people to use their bikes more", said CAN Chairperson Jane Dawson.

The release of the Strategy comes on the eve of the 4th National Cycling Conference, held in North Shore City on Friday and Saturday (10 - 11 October). The theme of the conference is "Cycling Strategies and How to Implement Them", and this document will be the focus of much discussion during the weekend.

"We congratulate the Minister of Transport, Paul Swain, for recognising the positive contribution that cycling can make to the health of New Zealanders and to our environment", said Ms Dawson.

CAN believes that there is still a lot of work to be done, though. "We would have liked to see an implementation plan included in the Strategy. The intentions are excellent, but unless there are goals set and action plans adopted, we have no great confidence that there will be significant changes in either the numbers of people cycling or the conditions they experience."

"In contrast to the NZ Strategy, the Australians set themselves a goal of doubling cycle use, and the UK's cycling strategy set a goal of quadrupling trips by bike. In the case of the UK, this goal has recently spurred them on to find new ways to ensure that their strategy is implemented. We would like to see ambitious goals set by the NZ Strategy, as well as a concrete commitment by Government to fund future implementation."

[Ends]

For more information, contact Jane Dawson, CAN Chairperson, on 04-385 2557; or Glen Koorey, CAN Technical & Policy Adviser, on 027-454 3085. Further information about the draft National Walking and Cycling Strategy can be found on the Ministry of Transport website www.transport.govt.nz. Further information about the 4th National Cycling Conference can be obtained from www.cycling-support.org.nz. The keynote speaker at the conference is Steven Norris, Chair of the UK National Cycling Strategy Board, and a former Conservative Minister of Transport.

The Cycling Advocates' Network of NZ (CAN) Inc is this country's national network of cycling advocate groups. It is a voice for all non-competitive cyclists - recreational, commuter and touring. We work with central government and local authorities, on behalf of cyclists, for a better cycling environment. We have affiliated groups and individual members throughout the country, and links with overseas cycling organisations. In addition, several national/regional/local government authorities, transportation consultancies, and cycle industry businesses are supporting organisations.


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