Changes to cycling on footpaths recommended

A Select Committee has recommended children be allowed to cycle on footpaths, but adults will have to stick to the road. Photo: Lynn Grieveson

A public petition to allow children and senior citizens to cycle on the footpath has gained support from the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee.

Lower Hutt cycling enthusiast Jo Clendon presented the petition last year, arguing it would be far safer to allow vulnerable cyclists access to footpaths.

Her idea gained the support of the New Zealand Transport Agency, who commissioned a report that found that allowing children to cycle on the footpath would make it easier to teach them about cycling safety.

In their report the Committee agreed with Clendon, recommending children under 12 and their accompanying adults, seniors over 65, and vulnerable users such as those with mental or physical disabilities be allowed to ride on the footpath.

Bells would be mandatory for any cyclists on the footpath and certain areas could be excluded by local authorities.

The recommendation is likely to please many cyclists and parents, but raise concerns with vulnerable groups such as the blind.

All Australian states allow under 12-year-olds to cycle on footpaths, while some also grant access to adults.

Associate Transport Minister Tim Macindoe is in charge of a response and Newsroom Pro will be approaching him alongside with other interested parties for their views later today..