Hastings off road link trail to Havelock North
Hastings off road link trail to Havelock North

I returned from Tuesday’s NZTA’s Cycle Safety Summit in Wellington buoyed up by spending the day with extremely motivated and informed people from across the transport sector  – AA, Road Transport Forum, IPENZ, etc plus all the expected groups who, like Cycle Action, work on a daily basis to improve cycling in NZ.

It was a very productive day. I can honestly report that the hard work from all of you who posted comments on our blog and sent me more detailed emails was not wasted. Your ideas were put up for discussion, and will be considered by the Expert Panel, whose work is now underway. Thank you all again for making the time.

The NZTA team who ran the day did a superb job preparing for the Summit, and it paid dividends. Crucially, they ensured we had all the right people in the room. Equally vital – the summit format ensured we all had time make strong contributions. Thanks, NZTA, for your commitment to do everything possible to make this a ground breaking project.

Hasting’s Owen Mata (who leads the Model Community programme for walking and cycling) was a highlight of the day.

Hastings “dashed cycle lane” riding.

He calmly reported on the stunning result his city and New Plymouth have achieved in just 3 years in reversing public attitudes to cycling safety. Opinion polls at the outset showed 70% of Hastings residents considered (lack of) safety on the city’s roads to be a barrier to cycling.

3 years later Owen reports that 70% of  residents now consider cycling to be safe. 

Imagine if we could do that in Auckland!

AT’s March 2013 survey on cycling attitudes found that 59% cite safety concerns about Auckland’s roads as a barrier to cycling. There is no reason to expect this has changed in the past year.

 Auckland is a far larger urban area, with major traffic densities and more complex in geography and topography. However, these results from Hastings and New Plymouth show that with money, infrastructure delivery, major cycling promotions and political commitment, public confidence to cycle more is able to be won in a relatively short time.

 Here’s more inspiration from Hastings and New Plymouth. Model Communities Graphic from GDance April 2014

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12 responses to “Cycling Safety Summit – Hastings and New Plymouth lead the way

  1. Thanks Barb – great action and momentum. And isn’t it fabulous to have actual results, in a genuine framework, as something to point to?

    Question: model communities — so in Auckland we could pick Te Atatu Peninsula, and Westmere / Grey Lynn / Ponsonby, and somewhere flat out South like Otara…? Tell us more!

  2. Greg – you never let me down!

    This is exactly the response I was hoping for from our readers – and – bingo – you scored!
    There’s nothing quite like a goal like reversing the stats of Aucklanders’ cycle safety fears as a way of sharpening the mind and pencils on cycle budgets for the next 3 years.
    Does anyone else like the idea?

    1. Ha ha. My view is pretty well known and matches what Greg has suggested. Bring it on Auckland.

    2. Yes, surely this was a trial to test whether there was anything special about NZers that would stop them using good quality cycle infrastructure. And surprise, surprise we are not genetically or culturally different from the Dutch or Danes. We just have rubbish cycle infrastructure.

      The test case was a success, the economic and health benefits are palpable, now local and central government need to give cycling the funds and road space to make it happen. Who has the political will to make that happen?

      Here is $500m for a roading project of dubious value – how about giving that to cycling?:

      Imagine what cycling could achieve with this money, the amount to be spent on a single motorway interchange.

      1. Interesting question Ben – what could we achieve with 500million? – that amount seems like enough to upgrade the whole city/region. Currently going on just 1 roading project.

        1. With 500 million and the will to spend it right, we could have a pretty complete cycle network in 5-10 years.

    1. Interesting. Had never heard of it. I presume CAA are aware? Surely AT would have mentioned it to them?

      1. Hamish is our guest presenter at our monthly meeting this month. 6pm at the Pioneer Women’s Centre on Wed 30th April. I’ll post a blog on it in the next day or so.
        I take your point, Glen, but I don’t see the two as being exclusive.
        We also have other avenues to focus on public attitudes to cycling safety. One is the new Cycle Advisory Group on which AT, Auckland Council, the Mayor’s office, NZTA and transport sector reps including Gen Z, Transport Blog, AA, Cycle Action etc.

  3. I’m intrigued – the slide indicates just a 13% increase in Hastings 2006-2013.
    This is encouraging.
    Concerning the census numbers, I expected more than a 13% rise in Hastings.
    Is the rest of the region masking a bigger increase in Hastings city? Or have I missed something?
    Wellington city got a massive 73% bump despite almost no new infrastructure.

    1. I’d hazard a guess that what really happened was:
      2006-10: 20% decrease (based on previous Census trends)
      2010-13: 40% increase
      (or something like that)
      That would get you a 13% increase overall

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