16 Sep WORKING TO CREATE A CYCLING SOUTH AFRICA
As it prepares for its annual general meeting, South Africa’s Pedal Power Association reiterates its call for safe cycling for all.
Founded in 1976 as part of the first Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Pedal Power Association continues to shine a spotlight on the conditions that face cyclists across the country.
With a growing focus on climate change and sustainable living there is a greater need for government, business and citizens to work together to make it easier and safer to cycle in South Africa’s cities and rural areas.
The rising number of cyclists on our roads shows that bikes are an increasingly popular form of transport for South Africans as we face rising fuel costs and the need to reduce vehicle emissions. Pedal Power CEO Neil Robinson believes this is the time to embrace cycling as part of South Africa’s transport solution and invest in making our roads safer for cyclists of all ages.
“Globally there has been a significant shift, evident in many of the world’s major cities, to cycling as a mode of transport with its environmental and health benefits. As cities become more congested with vehicular traffic, bikes offer the added advantage of taking up very little space on our roads.”
As South African cities return to pre-Covid traffic levels and congestion with its associated accidents, time-wasting and air pollution is steadily increasing. Cycling offers a healthy alternative, but we need to make it easier and safer for more people to cycle.
“Our aim is to increase cycling nationally, from the current one percent of transport share to two percent by 2030, essentially doubling cycling’s share of the transport pie” says Robinson. “But this won’t happen without better cycling infrastructure, following the rules of the road by ALL road users and greater access to bikes.”
Pedal Power is tackling these challenges through its established advocacy platforms. The organisation’s National “Stay Wider of the Rider” campaign is increasingly well known, and has the support of thousands of motorists, where “Stay Wider” bumper stickers are displayed on many cars.
But this is an ongoing process says Robinson. “We need to take the message into all communities and continually educate motorists about the need to share the road safely with cyclists and other vulnerable road users like pedestrians and children”. Pedal Power’s regular community activations are one way of getting this message out and include distributing high-visibility clothing for cyclists in low-income communities.
PPA’s Bike4All campaign helps put more people on bikes to share the economic, environmental and health benefits of cycling with all South Africans. This partnership with the Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) gets affordable bikes into more communities along with safety training and bike maintenance initiatives. Pedal Power members are able to support this campaign through their annual membership fees.
And through its Cool Kid on a Bike school campaign the PPA is addressing riders from a young age on all the do’s and don’ts of safety, bike maintenance and general good practices when sharing any public road or space.
Cycling is part of the solution
Now 46 years old, the Pedal Power Association continues to strengthen its advocacy activities. “As the largest recreational cycling association in South Africa we have an important role to play improving the conditions for cycling, liaising with government and developers and sharing our expertise and experience.”
“While we still have a long way to go in making cycling accessible to all, we are committed to building a cycling South Africa, and making our country safer for cyclists one road at a time” says Robinson adding “To support the growth of cycling please join PPA, renew your membership or make a donation.”
For more information:
Tel: 083 414 1442
or 021 671 6340
For all crash and crime related incidents
WhatsApp on 081 043 9890