The Cycling Advocates Network (CAN), the national group representing cyclists as road users, today welcomed the Government's road safety package. CAN Campaigns Secretary Robert Ibell stated that "The proposals are a significant improvement over the status quo, and we offer our qualified support. We're disappointed, however, that the Government has not committed itself to working towards a vision of zero fatalities."
"Given that around 20% of trips are undertaken on foot and by bike, we appreciate the increased focus on the safety of these modes", Mr Ibell said. "The commitment to undertake annual monitoring of travel will give valuable planning data for walking and cycling."
CAN welcomes the increased focus on Safe Routes programmes that aim to improve access to the road network for pedestrians and cyclists, but regrets that these are linked to injuries. "There are places where people won't walk or cycle because it's seen as too dangerous, so they don't show up in injury statistics", said Mr Ibell.
CAN is also concerned that there are no specific targets for a reduction in urban travel speeds and speed limits, despite these potentially having greater benefits overall than providing cycle facilities.
CAN also hopes that some of the proposed programmes will encourage motorists to share the road with cyclists in a more equitable way. "We look forward to continue working with LTSA on these issues to 2010 and beyond", Mr Ibell said.
For further information, contact Robert Ibell, CAN, 04-385 2557
Campaigns & PR Secretary
Cycling Advocates Network of NZ Inc. PO Box 6491, Auckland, NZ Tel/Fax: +64-4-385 2557 http://www.can.org.nz