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Greens and Labour in step with walking and cycling

8 October, 2003

Greens and Labour in step with walking and cycling strategy

The Green Party has welcomed the release of the draft walking and cycling strategy, another outcome of their joint work with Labour on Transport policy.

The Greens provided support for an increase of funding for land transport early last year, provided that some of it was ring fenced for public transport, alternatives to roading, and walking and cycling. The Strategy has been funded out of that money.

Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said this was the first step towards enabling New Zealanders to choose pavement and pedal before the motorcar.

"New Zealand needs to rediscover walking and cycling as an essential part of transport," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"Cycle ways, cycle storage, and walking access needs to be provided for this to happen. This Strategy gives an opportunity for public discussion on how that can be achieved in every community."

"One third of all car trips in New Zealand are less than two kilometres long and 40 per cent of morning peak trips are dropping people off to school. However, from 1990 to 1998 the number of cycling trips reduced by 39 per cent while journeys on foot decreased by about 400,000 per day. These trends must change.

"The benefits are obvious. We save money, improve our health and protect the environment every time we choose to walk to cycle somewhere instead of taking the easy but damaging option of the car.

"The Greens urge New Zealanders to give their input on the strategy so that we can provide the choices that will halt the growth of road traffic with its congestion, pollution and fuel use," said Ms Fitzsimons.

ENDS


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