National bike ride’s 300 cyclists an encouraging sign to make roads safer

With over 300 riders for Transport Malta's National Bike Ride, the Bicycle Advocacy Group said this proves that if roads were safer, people would opt to cycle

amy_micallef_decesare
Amy Micallef Decesare
22 September 2017, 11:13am
Transport Ministry's permanent secretary emphasised the importance of promoting bicycles as an alternative means of transport, 'a refreshing change', according to the bicycle NGO group
Transport Ministry's permanent secretary emphasised the importance of promoting bicycles as an alternative means of transport, 'a refreshing change', according to the bicycle NGO group
302 riders registered for Transport Malta’s National Bike Ride, which took cyclists in Floriana to Hamrun, Santa Venera, Attard, Mosta, Birkirkara and Msida.

The Bicycle Advocacy Group (B.A.G) said the news was encouraging and maintain that the gradual increase in participation proved that if roads were made safe and bicycle-friendly, people would opt to cycle.

This was the National Bike Ride’s fourth edition. Christopher Cutajar, the Transport Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, emphasised the importance of promoting bicycles as an alternative means of transport. BAG said that Cutajar’s words were “a refreshing change and clearly a move in the right direction”.

“Pedelecs should be treated as normal bicycles, that encouraged people to use these game-changing hill beaters,” BAG said in a statement.

At the end of the event, Transport Malta gave away five pedelecs in a raffle.

BAG said that there are around 7,000 bicycle sales a year in Malta and though many “start with the best of intentions”, bikes often end up being unused, only brought out “for escorted events like this”. According to the NSO, by comparison, Malta imports 3,000 vehicles a year.

“Making the roads safer to cycle to work on or down to the shops, would help some people switch, to avoid using their cars, helping to reduce congestion,” BAG said.