The Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) and BikeNZ welcome the commitment by the government to improve the safety of cyclists on our roads with the announcement of 'Safer Journeys', New Zealand's 10-year road safety strategy.
"Safer speeds, safer roads, action on raising driving standards and educating school children will benefit the more than 1.2 million New Zealanders who ride bikes", says Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) Chair, Bevan Woodward.
However, Mr Woodward warns "New Zealand has a long way to go. Currently, the roading environment restricts people's right to cycle safely."
BikeNZ and their cycling community RideStrong agree.
"Road safety has united the New Zealand cycling community through RideStrong's 16,000 members. Through RideStrong, over 15,000 signatures were collected in support of the 1.5m to survive petition- a call for improved road safety for cyclists," says BikeNZ CEO Kieran Turner.
Cyclists have demonstrated a commitment to shape road safety policy and actions themselves. Cyclists are invited to submit their ongoing comments and ideas through the RideStrong website or through CAN.
"Today's announcement opens the door for a united cycling community to work in partnership with policy makers to turn the road safety strategy into meaningful actions", says Mr Turner.
"It's great to see cycling included in further road safety action areas, but we believe that in partnership we can make this a 'First Actions' priority for the government strategy. "
"The cycling community is ready right now to start rolling out nationwide cycling skills programmes based on government backing. A focus on education is the key for us and something we are already investing in with RideStrong's 'Rotorua in Gear' programme.
"We would welcome the alignment of government spending in this area with the programs we already have in place".
"New Zealand's road death rate is double that of the UK. It is not acceptable that cyclists and pedestrians account for 30% of deaths in urban areas. We need to take bold action to improve the situation," says CAN chair Bevan Woodward.
"Reducing speed limits and providing safer conditions for cyclists and motorists alike."
BikeNZ and CAN will be meeting with a cross-party cycling group within parliament in March to discuss creating safer cycling conditions. BikeNZ and CAN are looking forward to working closer with government to deliver on 'Safer Journeys'.