$20 tax for ChCh cycleways - who benefits?

28 February 2013

University of Canterbury transport expert Professor Simon Kingham says while the debate on cycleways for Christchurch is looking at who pays, he questions who will benefit.

$20 tax for ChCh cycleways - who benefits?

Professor Simon Kingham

University of Canterbury transport expert Professor Simon Kingham says while the debate on cycleways for Christchurch is looking at who pays, he questions who will benefit.

A proposed $20 tax to fund a citywide network of cycleways has been supported by Christchurch city councillors as a way of funding nearly $70 million worth of new cycleways across the city.

Professor Kingham says the people who will benefit are not existing cyclists. The real beneficiaries are other people, he said.

"People who would cycle if it were safer benefit as they get a choice about how to travel. This is important as research at UC has shown that the main barrier to people cycling is that they don’t feel safe and want to be separated from traffic. The proposed cycle lanes provide that.

"People who have to drive their cars benefit enormously as more people on bikes mean more people out of cars and more road space for those who have to drive.

"The Ministry of Health benefits as research is clear that, in places where more people cycle, obesity rates are lower. In New Zealand, two-thirds of people are obese or overweight and obesity currently costs New Zealand around $800 million a year in health care costs and lost productivity.

"Treasury benefits, as they don’t need to spend money on expensive road building schemes if we can reduce congestion by shifting some people from cars onto bikes," Professor Kingham said.

 

For further informationplease contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168
kip.brook@canterbury.ac.nz

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