Cyclists' attitudes toward policies encouraging bicycle travel: findings from the Taupo Bicycle Study in New Zealand
Utility cycling provides substantial health, environmental and economic benefits. Despite a favourable trend in leisure-time cycling, cycling is infrequently used for everyday travel needs in New Zealand. This study investigated cyclists' attitudes toward environmental and policy measures that would encourage them to cycle more, particularly for a trip to work. A cross-sectional analysis was undertaken using baseline data obtained from the Taupo Bicycle Study, a web-based longitudinal study. The study population comprised 2469 cyclists, aged 16 years or over, who had enrolled in the 2006 Wattyl Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. The majority (88%) reported the provision of bicycle lanes as an important factor that would encourage them to cycle more often, followed by bicycle paths (76%), better bicycle security (64%), reduced motor vehicle speed (55%) and bike friendly public transport (38%). Of those who reported travelling to work at least once a week (N = 2223), varying proportions reported shower facilities at work (61%), fewer difficult intersections (43%), rising fuel costs (41%), fewer car parks (27%), bike designed to commute (26%) and rising cost of car parking (25%) as important factors that would encourage them to cycle to work more often. There were important differences in these perceived influences defined by the participants' socio-demographic characteristics and current cycling habits.