Focus on cycling


Measures to make cycling safer


The NZ Transport Agency has selected a group of ten New Zealand-based experts to develop recommendations for making the country’s roads safer for cycling.

The Transport Agency was asked to convene the panel in response to the findings of a coronial review of cycling safety in New Zealand, released in November last year by Coroner Gordon Matenga.

NZ Transport Agency Director of Road Safety Ernst Zöllner said the agency had canvassed the views of a wide range of stakeholders with expertise in cycling and road safety as part of the process of establishing the panel.

The panel is expected to meet for the first time next month and will aim to deliver its recommendations by the end of September.

The government’s Safer Journeys road safety strategy(external link) includes a range of initiatives to improve safety for cyclists. These include providing education and training programmes for cyclists and motorists, reducing speed limits on roads frequently used by cyclists, and, where possible, providing alternate routes with less traffic for cyclists.

The investment being made in walking and cycling through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) is significant. There is a stand-alone budget for Walking and Cycling Activities in the National Land Transport Programme – there’s roughly $80 million in there for 2012/15.

That budget doesn’t come close to representing the actual amount of investment and activity which goes into promoting walking and cycling and building new infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. It accounts only for standalone walking and cycling projects, such as our ‘model communities’ initiative in New Plymouth and Hastings.

We integrate walking and cycling facilities into a huge range of other transport investments to ensure we are providing a complete transport solution. We estimate that new cycle facilities associated with other projects effectively double the NLTP activity class figure – that is, they come to an extra $80m.

Geoff Dangerfield, Chief Executive of NZ Transport Agency said: ‘Walking and cycling is increasingly important to us and is critical for a thriving transport system. We want to ensure that cycling is a safe and efficient travel choice on many of our local transport networks and we’ll continue working to ensure that the network is fully integrated for cycling customers.’

‘Initiatives like Bike Wise Month encourage people to get on their bikes but also promote the importance of all users sharing the road safely. Our recent ‘Share the Road’ advertising campaign builds on this and is designed to personalise and humanise people who cycle so that motorists see beyond the bike.’

For more information on the Share the Road campaign, visit our advertising section.