Census Shows Big Rise in Wellingtonians Cycling & Walking

11 March 2014

Census data just released shows what is increasingly obvious on Wellington City streets – an ever growing number of Wellingtonians are walking or cycling to work.

Cyclist waiting at a traffic light in a cycle stop box.

A cyclist using new cycle-friendly road markings.

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The 2013 data shows a big increase in the numbers of Wellington City residents cycling to work – up by 73 percent on 2006 – and a 3 percent drop in the number of people travelling by car.

 The number of people choosing to walk or jog to work has also increased by almost 16 percent – up from 15,696 to 18,183.

 The percentage of people travelling by bus and train has remained about the same. Just under 14 percent – 14,565 Wellington City residents – got to work by bus last year while 3 percent, just over 3000, caught the train.

 Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the figures show a significant increase in people choosing to cycle to work.

 “These results give some muscle to the Council’s proposal to boost funding for cycling improvements,” she says.

 Mayor Wade-Brown added that the rising rate of those who walked to work was welcome on the eve of Walk to Work day, to be held Wednesday 12 March.

 “It’s great to know that Wellington remains the most walkable city, with a 16 per cent increase over the 2006 Census figure of those who walk or jog to work. However, the stagnation in bus and public transport journeys to work needs to be addressed by improved services and I urge the Regional Council to take a more strategic view on fare increases.”

 In 2006, just over 45 percent of Wellington City residents drove or got a lift to work by car, truck or van. That has dropped in the latest Census data by about 3 percent to just under 42 percent.

 Councillor Andy Foster, who chairs the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, says the figures show 37.6 percent of Wellington City residents took public transport, walked or cycled on Census day – compared with 34.5 percent in 2006.

 “That’s a fantastic result and it is great to see the numbers of people cycling and walking on the increase,” he says. Nationally, the figures show only about 12 percent of people got to work by these means, so we are really leading the way.”

 “The increase in cyclists is particularly encouraging and backs up why we are proposing to increase the amount we spend on new cycle lanes and cycling improvements in the coming year from $1.8 to $4.3 million,” he says. “We’re serious about making it safer and easier to cycle in Wellington so even more people will feel comfortable to make the switch.”