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Cyclists Appalled By Moratorium Decision

6 October 2005

Cyclists Appalled By Moratorium Decision

CHRISTCHURCH - Spokes Canterbury, the local cycling advocacy group is appalled that the Christchurch City Council voted today not to lift its moratorium on cycleway projects.

In June the Council voted to halt tendering of all projects involving cycleways, pending the outcome of a seminar to review the cycle strategy and its implementation. That seminar was held in August, and councillors seemed persuaded then of the need to reinstate the popular programme. They responded today, however, by ignoring the advice of staff and the petitions of almost 1500 cyclists and residents wanting the cycling programme continued.

Spokes Chair Glen Koorey says that he cannot fathom the thinking behind the decision.

"They've had all the information presented to them to demonstrate the worth of the existing cycleway programme. While some other good suggestions for getting more people cycling have been raised, that shouldn't stop them from continuing what they've already been doing well."

Mr Koorey said that cyclists fail to see why cycleway projects have to be halted while cycling initiatives in general are being reviewed.

"How come all City Council operations don't grind to a halt for two months every year when the Annual Plan is reviewed?" said Mr Koorey.

Mr Koorey and fellow Spokes member Andrew Macbeth made a deputation to Council to seek the lifting of the moratorium and to present a "Top 10" of initiatives for boosting cycling in the city.

Spokes' Top 10 includes a push for lower urban speed limits, the development of sustainable travel plans for organisations, and more cycling events and promotions.

"While the main aim today was to get the cycleway programme back on track, we felt that it was important to tell Council what else could be done to increase the amount of cycling in the city," said Mr Koorey. "A lot of it has nothing to do with cycle facilities."

"However that's no excuse for continuing the moratorium with no end in sight. There is a proper process for changing Council policy, and this has not been evident during the whole saga."

ENDS

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