Learnings from cycling in Europe

With the current significant investment in cycling in New Zealand, many people hope that we can grow cycling usage levels to match those found in several parts of Europe. A lot of focus here is on physical treatments such as protected cycleways and 'Copenhagen lanes', but will that be enough to initiate significant travel behaviour change?

At the 2WALKandCYCLE Conference in Auckland, 6 to 8 July, Glen Koorey presented What can New Zealand learn from Cycling in Europe?, a paper exploring these issues.

Glen and co-author Axel Wilke have spent considerable time exploring cycling practice in many parts of Europe, via study tours and living there. Based on first-hand observations and discussions in best-practice locations such as The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, it is evident that other factors beyond separated cycleways will be necessary to raise the take-up of cycling in New Zealand.

This paper highlights some of the factors believed to be essential to ensuring increased cycling in New Zealand. These factors include land use planning, speed and traffic volume management, traffic-free areas, network completeness, safety prioritisation, choice of bikes available, and public transport integration. Examples of how these are applied in Europe were presented, with a particular case study looking at the Netherlands. This was contrasted with discussion about their current implementation in New Zealand, particularly in one of our most cycle-friendly cities, Christchurch.

The peer-reviewed paper and the presentation are available from our website.

Where presented/published

2016 2WALKandCYCLE Conference, Auckland