Auck­land cy­clist num­bers in­creas­ing

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MARY FITZGER­ALD

‘‘We are see­ing con­tin­ual growth in cy­cle trips across the re­gion with the big­gest in­crease in the city cen­tre.’’

An extra 45,000 Auck­lan­ders have taken to two wheels in the last year.

Auck­land Trans­port’s an­nual Walk­ing and Cy­cling Sur­vey pub­lished on Au­gust 30 re­veals that 353,000 peo­ple are us­ing bikes, up from 308,000 in 2015.

AT’s cy­cling and walk­ing man­ager Kathryn King says the pos­i­tiv­ity is re­flected in the cy­cle counts. ’’We are see­ing con­tin­ual growth in cy­cle trips across the re­gion with the big­gest in­crease in the city cen­tre.

‘‘It’s great to see an in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple cy­cling to places like schools, lo­cal shops, work and to pub­lic trans­port in­ter­changes.’’

Ac­cord­ing to Bike Auck­land, many peo­ple cy­cle just for fit­ness and it is the main rea­son peo­ple cur­rently ride, while many also do it for other rea­sons such as go­ing to shops or com­mut­ing.

The AT sur­vey re­sults show non-ex­er­cise, recre­ational trips have in­creased in­di­cat­ing that more peo­ple are us­ing bikes for ev­ery­day ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to King, the new pro­tected cy­cling in­fras­truc­ture such as Auck­land’s in­ner city pink Light­path is mak­ing cy­clists feel safer, lead­ing to an over­all pos­i­tive per­cep­tion of cy­cling in Auck­land.

More than 34,000 peo­ple cy­cle to work but the study re­veals that there are a fur­ther 144,000 who could cy­cle to work.

King says that one of the main ways to get peo­ple cy­cling is good qual­ity, con­nected cy­cle­ways.

‘‘As we work with the Gov­ern- ment on the three-year pro­gramme of cy­cle­way im­prove­ments, we ex­pect the num­ber of cy­cle trips in Auck­land to con­tinue grow­ing.

‘‘Build­ing a net­work of con­nected cy­cle­ways to and around the city cen­tre as well to key pub­lic trans­port in­ter­changes, is a key com­po­nent of our strat­egy to im­prove the trans­port net­work,’’ Kings says.

The sur­vey also re­veals the num­ber of peo­ple walk­ing has in­creased by more than 11,000.

AT is work­ing with project part­ners Auck­land Coun­cil and the Gov­ern­ment (through the NZ Trans­port Agency and the Ur­ban Cy­cle­ways Pro­gramme) on a $200 mil­lion pro­gramme of cy­cle im­prove­ments from 2015 to 2018.

Go to at.govt.nz to view the full sur­vey.

SI­MON MAUDE / FAIR­FAX NZ

Fa­cil­i­ties such as the Light­path have led to an extra 45,000 Auck­lan­ders get­ting on their bikes.

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