Catalyst staff support planned Wellington cycleways

by Charlotte Weston

A recent survey of Catalyst employees found that nearly 80% of respondents were in favour of the Wellington City Council plan to build a connected network of cycleways.

In September this year Wellington City councillors approved the plan to build a $226 million, 147km cycleway network over the next decade.

Three cyclists are waiting in a bike lane at traffic lights in Newtown, Wellington, with cars behind them and pedestrians on the footpath.

Image from Stuff

There are many factors that influence how people travel to and from work, such as the weather, the distance between home to office, and the hilly nature of Wellington’s geography. However, the top reason given for what stops people cycling to work was that it isn’t safe.

"Around 30% of people said the main reason they don't cycle is because it is too dangerous. As an experienced cyclist, I guess this is something that I have come to terms with and accept as part and parcel of commuting and I assumed people don't ride because they don't want to get sweaty etc.," said Russel Garlick, Catalyst's Agile Coach, co-owner of Joyride, and trail education leader of Trail Fund NZ. "Any plan that attempts to make cycling safer is ace and will hopefully lead to more people on bikes which is a good thing."

The Catalyst office is on Willis Street in the central city, and currently less than a quarter of Catalyst’s Wellington staff cycle to work. A handful of dedicated cyclists bike every day they’re in the office, and others cycle some of the time. A more complete network of cycleways would make it more likely for nearly 30% of respondents to cycle to work, with another 26% saying it may make a difference.

A view of Catalyst House in Wellington, looking up at the front of the building from the street.

Wellington has the highest rate of public transport use in the country, and 58% of Catalyst employees indicated they used public transport. The next most popular form of commuting to work was walking, with 44% of survey respondents walking either as their sole method of getting to work, or in conjunction with using public transport. Private vehicles came in third, and cycling or another form of wheels (e.g. scooter or skateboard) came in last.

Catalyst has previously shown a commitment to supporting staff members who cycle to work by providing shower facilities and secure bike parking onsite, and subsidising Catalyst branded cycling gear. Catalyst employees have participated in the Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge as a group in past years.

A group of 11 people standing and sitting in rows wearing Catalyst branded t'shirts.

The 2008 Catalyst cycling team at the Lake Taupō Cycling Challenge

A protected and connected network of cycleways could improve the liveability of the city and make it a more attractive place to live and work, which would benefit all Wellington businesses, including ours.

Catalyst is a community-minded company and a network of cycleways aligns with our long-term vision and values of inclusion and sustainability.