Greens to build three times more cycleways than National

"The Green Party will build three times the length of safe, separated cycleways than National over the next three years," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.

Dr Russel Norman joined Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown to cycle the route of one of the new, planned cycleways connecting Island Bay to Wellington's city centre.

"We've been waiting too long for National to build safe, separated cycleways to ensure New Zealanders can cycle safely around our towns and cities," Dr Norman said.

"The Green Party's investment of $300 million over three years will ensure that the most urgently needed cycleways in our cities are built.

"National's proposed $100 million commitment is a small fraction of what is actually needed to do the job properly.

"People living in places like Island Bay are within easy cycling distance to downtown but are discouraged by the complete lack of a safe route.

"Wellington, like every other major town or city in the country, has a deficit of safe, separated cycleways and a huge pent-up demand to use them.

"For example, a safe cycling route between Wellington and Lower Hutt - the route top safety cop Steve Fitzgerald was killed on - has languished for years from a lack of funding. The Green Party would spend $47 million in Wellington alone to get this and other routes like the Great Harbour Way constructed connecting Wellington all the way around the coastline to Eastbourne safely.

"We are missing a huge opportunity for cycling to be a serious, cost effective transport option for short trips. The Green's investment will make cycling a realistic and enjoyable alternative for many commuters.

"More than half of peak hour trips in New Zealand are less than five kilometres - a distance that can be easily cycled by many of us.

"Surveys show many New Zealanders want to cycle more, but they don't feel safe. Our plan will increase cycle safety and free up our roads for those who need to drive.

"And the health benefits alone are huge, outweighing the construction costs by a factor of 24."

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