The NZ Transport Agency says new recommendations released today by an independent expert cycle safety panel mark an important milestone for the turnaround of cycling in New Zealand.
“The report released today by the New Zealand Cycling Safety Panel recommends a comprehensive set of actions to help ensure that the children, parents, commuters, tourists and fitness enthusiasts who are choosing to cycle in increasing numbers will be able to do so safely.
“After decades of decline cycling is again gaining rapidly in popularity and is now the fastest growing mode of transport in Auckland and several other cities and towns. Cycling helps make our towns and cities great places to live, we get fitter and healthier when we bike and it takes pressure off other transport routes. But while there have been significant reductions in deaths and injuries from motor vehicle crashes in recent years, we haven’t seen the same reductions in casualties or crashes for cyclists. The recommendations in this report aim to change that,” says Transport Agency Director of Road Safety Ernst Zöllner.
The Transport Agency established the independent cycling safety panel in March this year following a 2013 coronial review of cycle safety, to develop practical and innovative recommendations for how central and local government can work together to make cycling a safe transport option.
As a leading group of cycling experts and transport analysts, the panel worked closely with cycling advocacy groups, transport bodies, local authorities and all relevant central government agencies in developing its recommendations. In the course of its deliberations the panel held two cycling safety summits and received suggestions from 47 organisations and many individuals, as well having its draft recommendations peer reviewed internationally. The involvement of the AA, Road Transport Forum and walking advocate groups throughout the panel’s work ensured that cycling safety was always considered within the context of the needs of all transport users.
“The panel took a systematic view of how to improve cycling safety that covers new and different solutions for infrastructure, education, behaviour, regulation and enforcement. The final report from the panel is a major step forward, as it represents New Zealand’s first comprehensive and rigorous analysis of how to improve the safety of those who choose to cycle in our urban and rural areas,” Mr Zöllner says.
Mr Zöllner says the Transport Agency is working closely with the Ministry of Transport, NZ Police and local government on a comprehensive response to the report.
The government will be investing more in cycling safety and infrastructure, particularly in urban areas, over the next four years with additional investment through the $100m Urban Cycleways Fund announced by the Government in August.
Mr Zöllner says that the priorities for this work will be announced early in the New Year.
For more information please contact:
NZ Transport Agency
T: 04 894 6285
M: 021 276 3222