Invest in biking as fuel prices rise, say cyclists
Cycling advocates say it has never been more urgent for government and business to invest in biking. As petrol crosses the $3 mark, people desperately need alternatives to driving.
Cycling Action Network (CAN) spokesman Patrick Morgan says councils, the Government and workplaces need to shift up a gear to soften the impacts of high fuel prices.
“Let's double-down on biking to ease pain at the pump.”
“People love the freedom and convenience of riding bikes, but they need safe and convenient bike lanes.”
"With high petrol prices causing hardship, we urge councils to meet the demand for cycling by investing in bike lanes, low-traffic streets, bike parking, and cyclist training."
He says that while not every trip can be made by bike, as 2/3 of urban trips are less than 6 km, many can be.
“E-bikes and cargo bikes, which can carry children or a week's groceries, are a viable replacement for many trips.”
“This is the perfect time for the Government to extend EV subsidies to e-bikes.”
Mr Morgan says business can play a part too.
"Many workplaces provide secure bike parking, fleet bikes, and changing facilities for staff. These are great ways to encourage people to bike, and to lower their travel bills.”
“Every person on a bike means one less car, and eases household budgets. More biking is good for business."
Cycling costs 7 cents a kilometre compared to more than 70 cents for a car. Cycling provides exercise that helps keeps people fit and happy, so it reduces costs to the health system. Cycling cuts pollution and congestion, both of which cost New Zealand over a billion dollars each per year.
Mr Morgan says rising fuel prices are driving people out of their cars, and they are rediscovering the convenience and fun of cycling.
"New Zealanders love cycling. Bikes outsell cars. There are 1.7 million people already riding for recreation, fitness and pleasure.
"Many would like to use their bikes to get to work, school or the shops, but are deterred by the lack of bike lanes."
"With high fuel prices here to stay our councils, Government, and employers need to ensure cycling is a viable choice."
Cycling Action Network (CAN)
M: 027 563 4733
Pic credit: Stuff