News | 29 November 2016

Council funding boosts people on to bikes

Summer bike workshops, themed group rides and the ever-popular Go By Bike Day are just some of the initiatives to receive grants from the second round of Wellington City Council’s Communities on Bikes fund.

Renee Rushton of the Newtown Community and Culture Centre says that the grant is a welcome boost for their series of bike workshop over summer.

"We’d love to see more people on bikes in Newtown. We’re running these workshops so that people can learn how easy it is to fix and maintain their bikes – making it easier for people to ride bikes more often.

“It’s great to have the Mechanical Tempest and Wenches with Wrenches teams on-board to show people how they can fix their bikes.

“In the series there are two Wenches with Wrenches Workshops that are specifically for women and people from the LGBTQIA community. We know that this group of people can often feel less comfortable in commonly male dominated bike workshop environments, so our events aim to provide a welcoming space for them to learn to maintain their bikes. 

“Part of the grant is for useful bike repair tools for the Newtown Tool Library – so Newtowners can keep on fixing their bikes with the knowledge learnt at the workshops. 

“The workshops will are a fun, social and safe environment that will hopefully lead to a lifelong love of two wheels.” 

The Communities on Bikes fund allocates up to $50,000 a year to projects that encourage people to ride bikes as an everyday transport choice. Projects can be events, activities, programmes, infrastructure or equipment. 

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says great modern cities encourage and support people’s choice of active modes of transport. 

“We need a balanced transport approach. As well as the obvious health benefits, people on bikes reduce congestion on our roads,” he says. 

Other initiatives to receive funding include: the Need for Tweed ride, a bicycle film festival at Ngā Taōnga Sound and Vision, and Go By Bike Day. 

City Councillor Sarah Free, the Council's Public Transport, Cycling and Walking Portfolio Leader, says Wellington is experiencing phenomenal growth in cycling. 

“We are committed to supporting groups that encourage people to ride bikes and contribute to improving rider safety. 

“This is one of the ways the Council is supporting cycling as a viable and safe mode of transport.” 

A further $50,000 will be available next financial year.