Cy­cling ad­vo­cacy group forms

Bay News - - NEWS - By Saman­tha Mo­tion

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.

Photo/John Bor­ren

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.

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