Wellington cyclists are calling for increased investment in cycling facilities, education and promotion to provide a viable alternative to driving, meet the City Council's climate change goals, and help solve traffic congestion.

As petrol crosses the $2 mark people are looking for alternatives to driving.

Advocacy group Cycle Aware Wellington (CAW) made the call in their submission to the Draft Annual Plan this week.

CAW chair Illona Keenan says that as fuel prices rise, cycling grows in popularity and the City Council should up its investment to match cyclists' needs.

“Rising fuel prices and climate concerns are motivating more people to choose biking as a better way to get around, yet our investment in cycling is poor.”

Under the draft plan, cycle network operational spending is only 0.16 percent, and capital spending is 0.27 percent of transport spending for 2008/2009.

”The planned spending on the cycle network is unacceptably low for the 7 percent of people who commute by bike into central Wellington each weekday,” says Ms Keenan.

“We should be investing at least 7 percent of transport spending, which equates to $2,315,000.”

In its submission, CAW also calls for:

  • more bus priority lanes
  • congestion charging to discourage car use
  • a cycling strategy that includes a cycling network and implementation plan
  • smoother road surfaces on popular cycling routes, such as round the bays
  • traffic lights sensors that can be triggered by cyclists
  • more parking stands, especially along the golden mile
  • investment in public transport.

The Stern Report says that there is an immediate need to reduce carbon emissions from transport.

Emissions from the transport sector (32 percent) are the key contributors to emissions in Wellington, according to the WCC Climate Change Action Plan.

Contact Illona Keenan, Cycle Aware Wellington, tel 021-165-2128 or 04-971-5602.

Cycle Aware Wellington Inc.

Cycle Aware Wellington (CAW) is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation aimed at improving conditions for cyclists and encouraging more people to bike more often. CAW is the local advocacy group for cyclists, with more than 100 financial members and 700 people we are in regular contact with. CAW represents people who use their bikes as a means of transport.

Reference: Stern N., 2006. Stern Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change, United Kingdom Treasury Department.

Release Date: 
Tuesday, 20 May, 2008