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Health Professionals Join The Call For Cycling, Walking Lane On Auckland Harbour Bridge

OraTaiao, the New Zealand Climate and Health Council, is joining the call for Waka Kotahi to liberate the lane following the release of a report showing the viability of reallocating one lane of traffic on the harbour bridge for walking and cycling.

The independent engineering report commissioned by Bike Auckland has concluded that one lane of the harbour bridge can safely be reallocated to people walking and cycling without causing issues for the stability of the bridge or significantly impacting traffic flow.

“This report shows that an active transport lane can be built quickly, and we call on Waka Kotahi to act with urgency to liberate the lane”, says OraTaiao spokesperson Michael Brenndorfer.

“Climate change will have drastic impacts on human health, but positive intervention such as improving active transport infrastructure not only reduces carbon emissions, it also improves health and wellbeing.”

Brenndorfer is a Nurse Practitioner who commutes regularly across the harbour bridge to work on the North Shore several times per week.

“Finally having the ability to cycle to work would be a hugely positive improvement to connect the North Shore with the rest of the city, in a way that reduces our impact on the climate while increasing the health of the population.”

Previous studies in New Zealand have shown that investment in active transport infrastructure has the dual impact of reducing carbon emission and reducing health issues saving millions in health expenditure. [1]

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“It’s time Waka Kotahi took climate change and human health seriously and liberated the lane.”

[1] Chapman, R., Keall, M., Howden-Chapman, P., Grams, M., Witten, K., Randal, E., & Woodward, A. (2018). A cost benefit analysis of an active travel intervention with health and carbon emission reduction benefits. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(962), 1-10.

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