Cycling in New Zealand is popular, safe, healthy and enjoyable. When it replaces other forms of transport (commuting to work for instance) it also reduces the emission of greenhouse gases.
With the price of fossil fuels on a continuous trend upwards it makes financial sense as well.
Cycling can be a faster way to commute sometimes – especially over shorter distances in city centres. In an informal study by the University of Canterbury it proved to be faster than cars, motorbikes and other forms of transport using four out of five different routes to the University.
Communities that foster cycling are busy, prosperous and enjoyable to live in. Cycle-friendly initiatives and cities worldwide show that combining walking with cycling improves quality of life in local businesses and communities. Why? Because the increase in foot traffic supports both business and social networks.
About 30% of New Zealanders cycle every year, but cyclist accidents are only 5% and cyclist road offences about 1% of their respective totals.
Yet less that 1% of New Zealand’s annual spend on road transport goes to cycling, and even with proposed increases in the cycling budget, this will remain the case. While there is some support for cycling in transport policy, there is much resistance to cycling and walking initiatives at the regional and local level. In addition, many motorists are against cycling initiatives. Why? Because New Zealanders love the motorcar and motorists often think cyclists are a nuisance, even a hazard.