News: August 2008

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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...

August 21, 2008
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Aug

CAN, the national Cycling Advocates' Network, has strongly criticised motoring lobbyists and business interests who are campaigning against road funding for cycling despite indications that motorists are happy to pay for cycle facilities. A recent Automobile Association (AA) survey of its members, reported in the AA's policy newsletter "Advocate", found 71% support by members (including 23% "strong support") for using road taxes and charges to build cycle paths. "It seems particularly strange that the AA would go against survey findings from its own members." said CAN chairperson Jane Dawson. Ms Dawson said that the findings were not too surprising, given that many motorists also cycled or had children who cycled. "National activity surveys have found that over 450,000 people take part in cycling over a given year, and that doesn't include mountain biking." It is often argued that...

August 21, 2008
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Toast for NZ's most efficient vehicle New Zealand's most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle will be toasted outside Parliament Buildings on Wednesday. And no, it won't have taken part in the EnergyWise Rally. Cyclists will assemble to celebrate the benefits of the bicycle, having been denied the opportunity to compete in the four day rally. Wellington cyclist Patrick Morgan, a member of the Cycling Advocates Network (CAN), tried to enter the rally and found that the rules excluded bicycles. "Cyclists are powered by toast and emit virtually no pollution. There's no way even the most modern motor vehicle can compete with the bike. We're cycling to Parliament to celebrate that." said Mr Morgan. "It's important to reduce the environmental impact of cars, but it's much better still to use them less", said Mr Morgan. "People get too obsessed with high-tech solutions to...

August 21, 2008
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Transfund's proposed funding for cycling and walking projects over the next decade was described as inadequate by national cycling organisation the Cycling Advocates Network (CAN). "With promoting walking and cycling as one of the new priorities for the National Land Transport Fund, we would have expected to see a sizeable boost in funding for walking and cycling projects", said CAN chairperson Jane Dawson. "Instead the newly issued National Land Transport Fund suggests only $3 million a year will be spent in each of the next ten years. While overall spending on land transport will increase to an estimated $1.38 billion by 2012, spending on cycling and walking will stick at $3 million. At that it will only comprise 0.2 per cent of the total spent on land transport." Transfund have received indicative bids for cycling and walking projects worth more than $26 million in the coming...

August 21, 2008
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The Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) welcomes the New Zealand Transport Strategy and is pleased to see the emphasis on integrating the different transport modes. "Cycling has been left off the map for too long," said CAN chairperson Jane Dawson. "It is great to finally see an official document which recognises that motor vehicles are not the only users of roading space." "It is also pleasing to see a recognition that promoting cycling can improve safety for everyone and improve the health of the nation, and that cycle tourism has a role in regional development." The New Zealand Transport Strategy says that transport policy will ensure that the needs of cyclists are catered for, and that walking and cycling will be promoted for short trips. However, the Cycling Advocates' Network is disappointed that the Strategy does not contain obvious implementation mechanisms. "Many of the ideas in...

August 21, 2008
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National organisation the Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) welcomed today's launch of the Green Light campaign in support of the Land Transport Management Bill. CAN has joined forces with other organisations to ensure that the Bill is passed. "The Green Light campaign is about having a transport system that takes account of the needs of all users," said CAN chairperson, Jane Dawson. "CAN supports the Government's moves to integrate transport planning with environmental, health, economic, social, safety and other concerns," said Ms Dawson. "Cycling has a lot to offer in all these areas. Over the years too many barriers have appeared that have discouraged people from using their bikes for everyday travel. The Government has a good vision for transport in New Zealand, but we desperately need some effective ways to bring this about." said Ms Dawson. CAN is therefore calling on all political...

August 21, 2008
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Paul Doherty has been appointed Executive Director of Cycling Support N.Z. Inc. He will take up the position on 22 April 2002. Mr Doherty is 37 and graduated from the University of Auckland with a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering. His professional experience has been in the design and construction of highways both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom where he lived and worked for six years. Mr Doherty says that his background in highways will stand him in good stead for his role as New Zealand's first full-time cycling advocate. In fact it was his experience with roading in the UK that allowed him to see the potential of the humble bicycle. "This is an exciting challenge for me. The Government has taken some very positive steps in recognising the benefits of cycling to our communities with the Minister of Sport Fitness and Leisure Hon. Trevor Mallard's recent Task Forse...

August 21, 2008
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The Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) today denounced reported criticism of anti-helmet-law campaigners, urging their opponents to "play the ball and not the person". It was reported yesterday that safety campaigners and transport officials had described as the "the lunatic fringe" a new group, Cycle HELTH (Helmet Law Truth and Honesty), campaigning for a repeal of the mandatory bicycle helmet law. CAN spokeperson Glen Koorey said that they had been calling for an objective review of the law for a number of years. To date, the Land Transport Safety Authority has yet to supply them with any research analysis of the effect of the law. "The merits of wearing a cycle helmet have not been conclusively proven either way, worldwide. While we fully support anyone choosing voluntarily to wear a helmet, we are concerned about the wider effects that the mandatory law has had," said Mr Koorey. "If...

August 21, 2008
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The Government's draft transport strategy is welcome because it is looking at a transport system where people have real choices about how they move around, said the Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) today. "The strategy starts to redress the imbalance in funding that has seen people encouraged to drive and created conditions where biking, walking or taking public transport is too unattractive" said CAN chairperson Jane Dawson. Allowing the current growth in motor vehicle travel is economically and environmentally unsustainable. It also creates huge costs in the health system, with the population becoming less active. "The draft isn't perfect, but it is a good start," said Ms Dawson. ENDS For further comment contact: Jane Dawson, Cycling Advocates Network, 04-382 2738 or 04-972 2552 -- Jane Dawson Cycling Advocates' Network of NZ Inc. PO Box 6491, Auckland, NZ Tel/Fax: +64-4-972 2552http...

August 21, 2008
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CAN, the national Cycling Advocates Network, has welcomed Air New Zealand's recent move to reduce the costs of carrying bicycles for domestic travellers. The previous Express Class charge of $50 (one-way) to transport items like bikes and surfboards has been reduced to $20. CAN spokesperson Robert Ibell said that the previous charge appeared to be quite arbitrary compared with the true cost of transporting these items, and CAN (amongst others) had called for a review. "We'd like to acknowledge all of the cyclists out there who took the time to voice their concerns to Air NZ." CAN was still puzzled about the apparent inequity between bicycle charges and items such as golf clubs or ski equipment, which are not charged for separately unless overweight. "This is a particular concern where the bicycle is adequately boxed or bagged or is designed for easy carriage", said Mr Ibell. "A typical...

August 21, 2008
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The winners of the CAN Cycle-Friendly Awards 2003-4 will be revealed at a function at Parliament on Monday 22 November. The Awards are being presented by the Hon Pete Hodgson, Minister of Transport, at a ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Executive Wing Foyer of the Beehive, Parliament Buildings. Many of the finalists from around New Zealand will be represented at the function. Winners will receive a uniquely designed "bicycle-bell" trophy, a certificate, and a subscription to CAN. The thirteen finalists include bike parking facilities, a promotional video, staff "bicycle user groups" (BUGs), and traffic equipment hire for cycling events. Ends For more information, contact Robert Ibell, CAN Chairperson, on 04-972 2552; or Glen Koorey, CAN Awards Organiser, on 03-364 2951 About the Cycle-Friendly Awards Devised by the Cycling Advocates Network, the national organisation promoting...

August 21, 2008
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Finalists in the inaugural CAN Cycle-Friendly Awards have just been announced. The twelve projects include cycle racks for patrons at Sierra cafe in Takapuna, Christchurch City Council's Colombo St cycle lanes, National Bike Wise Week 2003, and a model cycling strategy developed by Environment Canterbury. Devised by national organisation the Cycling Advocates Network and supported by SPARC, the CAN Cycle Friendly Awards are designed to acknowledge and celebrate some of the most notable achievements in the country that are helping to promote cycling and to create a cycle-friendly environment. Nominations were called for in four categories: best cycle facility project, best cycling promotion, cycle-friendly commitment by a business and cycle-friendly commitment by a public organisation. Sixteen nominations were received. One of the judges, CAN chairperson Jane Dawson, said they were...

August 21, 2008
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Cyclists are upset that proposed changes to New Zealand's unique 'Give Way' rules have been dropped by the Government.The Government has made decisions on the incoming 'Road User Rule'. Controversially, the proposed changes to New Zealand's unique 'Give Way' rules have been excluded.Jane Dawson, spokesperson for the Cycling Advocates Network (CAN), said that CAN was disappointed about the Governments' decision."Decision making processes at intersections are far too complex. Many motorists don't cope with the multitude of things that they have to look out for when having to Give Way, and it is often cyclists and pedestrians who get overlooked, and who become the victims."The existing Give Way rules are one of the main reasons for the complexity at intersections. "Think about motorists intending to turn left at traffic lights. They have to give way to opposing right turners. But they...

August 21, 2008
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National cycling organisation the Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) today called on national and local government to invest much more heavily in creating a bicycle-friendly environment to help tackle the obesity epidemic. "It's vital to get New Zealanders to build physical activity back into their daily lives," said CAN chairperson Robert Ibell. "Government at both a local and national level have to invest much more money in developing environments that will encourage people to cycle or walk for everyday journeys." Welcoming the new report 'Tracking the Obesity Epidemic', launched yesterday by the Ministry of Health, Mr Ibell said "We have very clear evidence of the huge scale of the problem with obesity in New Zealand. Now we need to see government putting resources into tackling the problem, and encouraging active transport is an important part of the solution." CAN is calling on local...

August 21, 2008
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The Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) is welcoming the draft National Walking and Cycling Strategy 'Getting There', and wants New Zealanders to get in behind it. "This is about giving people more choice about how they travel. For many journeys, the bicycle is an ideal way to get around, and we hope that the Strategy will create the conditions that enable people to use their bikes more", said CAN Chairperson Jane Dawson. The release of the Strategy comes on the eve of the 4th National Cycling Conference, held in North Shore City on Friday and Saturday (10 - 11 October). The theme of the conference is "Cycling Strategies and How to Implement Them", and this document will be the focus of much discussion during the weekend. "We congratulate the Minister of Transport, Paul Swain, for recognising the positive contribution that cycling can make to the health of New Zealanders and to our...

August 21, 2008
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New Zealanders have until the end of the week to nominate their favourite cycling project or cycling champion for a CAN Cycle-Friendly Award. The second national Cycle-Friendly Awards aim to celebrate initiatives that promote cycling and create a cycle-friendly environment at both national and local levels. The awards are administered by the Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) and proudly supported by SPARC. There are four award categories: - Best Cycle Facility Project - Best Cycling Promotion- Cycle-Friendly Commitment by Business - Cycle-Friendly Commitment by Public Organisation Nominations should be based on activities carried out some time during the 18-month period January 2003 - June 2004. The finalists will be invited to attend an awards ceremony in Wellington in November. All finalists will receive a certificate and a subscription to CAN, while the category winners will also...

August 21, 2008
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The national cyclist organisation, the Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN), today called on the Government to increase funding for cycling projects to $91 million over the next ten years. Welcoming today's release of "Getting There - On Foot, By Cycle", the national walking and cycling strategy, CAN chairperson Robert Ibell said, "We congratulate the Government for taking this important step." "The strategy will help to return cycling to its rightful place in the transport system. But it's just the beginning: a strategy needs to be implemented. To achieve the vision that the strategy contains, there need to be carrots and sticks," he said. "The money for Bike Wise promotions is an excellent start, but much more needs to be invested in such programmes, and in infrastructure, in order to achieve the strategy's goals," Mr Ibell said. CAN has calculated that $91 million would be a conservative...

August 21, 2008
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The winners of the inaugural CAN Cycle-Friendly Awards have been announced. Four special trophies were presented on Friday 10 October at a dinner held at the NZ Cycling Conference being held in the Bruce Mason Centre, North Shore City. The four winning organisations are: Best cycle facility project: Porirua City Council (Ara Harakeke Pathway) Best cycling promotion: Bike Wise (National Bike Wise Week 2003) Cycle-friendly commitment by business: Cycle Surgery, Dunedin (child cycling skills programme) Cycle-friendly commitment by public organisation: SPARC (Cycle Friendly Employer resources) Devised by national organisation the Cycling Advocates Network and supported by SPARC through its Active Workplaces scheme, the CAN Cycle Friendly Awards are designed to acknowledge and celebrate some of the most notable achievements in the country that are helping to promote cycling and to create a...

August 21, 2008
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National organisation the Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) today supported a review of blanket open road speed limits, but said the upper speed limit should not be raised from 100 km/h. CAN also called for speeds in many urban areas to be reduced to 30km/h, reinforced by traffic calming measures. CAN spokesperson Robert Ibell said there are good safety and environmental reasons for lower speeds. "Raising the open road speed limit would increase fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. That's the wrong way to go, with climate change already having an impact on New Zealand." said Mr Ibell. "Lower speed limits would also help lower the road toll." said Mr Ibell. "Installing 30km/h zones in urban areas would significantly reduce the number and severity of crashes for pedestrians and cyclists, especially amongst children and the elderly." "Review speed limits by all means," said Mr...

August 21, 2008
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Cyclists welcomed today's announcement of an expanded role for the Ministry of Transport and creation of a new transport programme delivery agency, but called for greater openness and consultation at the Ministry, and for a much stronger focus on cycling. Jane Dawson, spokersperson for the Cycling Advocates Network (CAN), said that CAN was generally pleased with the changes to Government transport agencies announced by the Minister of Transport though it would have liked to see the changes go further, particularly in the area of integrating state highway management with local transport needs. CAN particularly welcomed the move to bring the work of safety agencies into the mainstream of transport planning. "Safety has been considered an end in itself for too long." said Ms Dawson. �The new set-up will help to build policy that encourages people to make better choices about how they...

August 21, 2008
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