New Zealand’s national capital of Wellington has a greater urban area population of 429,700 in 2020, but due to its extremely hilly terrain and limited land, being surrounded by ocean on three sides, only half of these people, 215,100 to be exact, live in the city of Wellington itself.
The other half live in nearby urban areas including Lower Hutt and Porirua.
Also due to this extremely rugged terrain, a single four lane motorway is the only main road that links Wellington to the rest of New Zealand.
Currently there is no separated cycle route along this main road, that has been built on a narrow strip of in some places reclaimed land, wedged between the mountains and the sea. The only space for cyclists is the shoulder of what is an extremely busy high speed road.
Cycling advocates around the world know that if they can overcome entrenched resistance and actually get protected facilities installed, the riders will come.
Now a recent study by the Paris city government has found that new cyclists account for almost six in ten users of pop-up cycle lanes in Paris, installed first in response to a public transport strike last winter with the network subsequently enlarged due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The study also revealed that prior to the pop-up bike lanes being put in place, women made up 36 per cent of cyclists in Paris, which has now risen to 41 per cent.
Germany’s federal government has announced that will be investing 900 million Euro (A$1.38 billion) into cycling as part of its national climate protection programme. The largest portion will be funded through a €660 million (A$1 billion) ‘City and Country-side’ (‘Stadt und Land’) program, which was officially published on 25 January by the Federal Ministry of Transportation. The investments in both urban and rural infrastructure are intended to help unleash the potential of cycling for climate-friendly transportation across the country.
A new research paper by a trio of leading transport academics has found an economic benefit to the tune of £724 million has been recognised on £80 million in active travel investment.
Authored by University of Westminster Professor of Transport Rachel Aldred, Dr James Woodcock and Dr Anna Goodman, the paper is titled: ‘Major investment in active travel in outer London: impacts on travel behaviour, physical activity and health.’