TV3 news item: Wellington cyclists beware

The environmental and health benefits of cycling are undeniable and while it might be good for you, taking to pedal power in the capital is a risky business.

Last year 136 cyclists were injured around the Wellington region.

A report by the Greater Wellington Regional Council found cyclists in Wellington are 12 times more likely to be injured than someone travelling in a car. Cyclists in the rest of country are just three and a half times more likely to become a casualty.

“I think I put that down to the boom in cycling in Wellington and the fact that the novice riders tend not to have the skills of the experienced riders,” says Patrick Morgan, spokesperson for the Cycling Advocates Network.

It is also Wellington's narrow roads and lack of specific cycling infrastructure which is to blame. But Mr Morgan says the statistics, taken from a small sample group are in danger of discouraging people taking up pedal power.

“If there's fewer people on bikes then drivers don't get used to seeing them, but as the number of cyclists goes up then it's safer for everyone,” he says.

While the overall trend in the last decade means there's more risk cycling in Wellington, awareness is growing. In the last two years there's been a nine percent decrease in injuries.

Source: 3 News