Cycling advocacy group forms
Tauranga’s cycling lobby has been strengthened with the formation of an independent city-wide advocacy group, Bike Tauranga.
Bike Tauranga chairman, business owner Kevin Kerr, said the group aimed to work alongside local transport authorities to promote cycling and make it safer and more convenient in the city— outcomes he said would benefit all road users.
“Every bike on the road is one less car.”
Kevin says the idea for the group began in 2015 when the city’s cycling community rallied against Tauranga City Council’s decision not to help fund the
mokoroa to Tauranga cycleway. The council later bowed to public pressure and agreed to help fund the project.
Protest movement conception aside, Kerr says Bike Tauranga wanted to be a proactive group working in positive partnerships with the council and theNZ Transport Agency, rather than a reactive group.
He says they wanted to get involved in the planning stages of projects to promote quality design and the integration of cycling infrastructure with other modes of transport.
Their involvement could help prevent repeats of costly issues such as those identified with the new cycleways created for the Maungatapu underpass.
Kerr says despite recent progress, including the allocation of up to $100 million in transportation funding to cycling projects in Tauranga over the next decade, cyclists were still aminority transport user group and needed to work to make sure their voices were heard.
Bike Taurangawill be led by a 10-person committee of volunteers, among them representatives of other community advocacy groups, including Bike Mount and Greater Tauranga.
Karen Hay of Tauranga City Council and Kevin Kerr of Bike Tauranga on Ngatai Rd, soon to be transformed by a separated by-directional cycleway.