The Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) and BikeNZ say it is common sense for government and business to fight high fuel prices by investing in cycling.

As petrol hits $2.20 a litre, people are looking for alternatives to driving.

CAN spokesperson Patrick Morgan says local councils and the government need to shift up a gear to soften the impact of high fuel prices.

"New Zealanders love to bike, but many are put off by our busy roads and a lack of decent cycleways."

"The good news is that cycling is a cheap date."

Relatively small investments can unleash cycling's potential to cut fuel bills, he said.

"We urge councils to meet the demand for safe and convenient cycling by investing in cycleways, bike parking, integration with public transport, cyclist training and driver education through the 2012 updates to their Long-Term Plans."

Mr Morgan says business can play a part too.

"Many workplaces provide secure bike parking, fleet bikes and changing facilities for staff. These encourage people to cycle and to save on fuel bills."

Mr Morgan says money saved on petrol is good for New Zealand's economy.

"New Zealanders spend $4 billion on fuel for cars (not including Government taxes). By switching to bikes, some of that money stays in our economy, creating local jobs. More people biking is good for business."

CAN and Bike NZ are working on programmes aimed at getting more people riding, more often:
- cycle skills training,
- training of cycle skills instructors,
- a pilot "share the road" campaign for drivers and cyclists, and
- workshops for truck and bus drivers, where drivers and cyclists swap seats to learn about driving and cycling issues.

"We need continuous cycleways through our cities and wide shoulders on key rural roads," says Mr Morgan.

"With high fuel prices here to stay, we need to ensure cycling is a viable choice."

Patrick Morgan
Cycling Advocates Network (CAN)
M: 027 563 4733

Release Date: 
Friday, 16 March, 2012