Danish Ambassador to Australia Tom Nørring rode to work on Wednesday morning – which, for a Dane, is standard operating procedure. He wants more Canberrans to follow his lead.
Ambassador Nørring rode from his home near the Danish Embassy in Yarralumla to the ANU Global Programs Fair in support of a new initiative called Cycle Works.
“For Danes, riding your bike is in our DNA. That’s what I did every day back in Copenhagen,” said the Ambassador.
56% of Copenhageners who work or study in the city, commute by bike every day.
114,000 people regularly ride a bike in the ACT, yet only 3% of those people use their bike for transport.
Bicycle advocacy group Pedal Power ACT hopes Cycle Works will motivate more Canberrans to use their bikes to get to work.
As a representative of the top cycling nation in the world, Ambassador Nørring sees this as an opportunity to inspire Canberrans to follow Denmark’s example and ride their bikes to work, to meetings and for short trips.
“It’s good for your health, it’s good for the environment and it contributes to making your city more liveable,” said Ambassador Nørring.
“We look forward to sharing our knowledge as the world’s top bicycling nation to inspire Canberra in designing an even more bike-friendly city.”
Staff from the Danish Embassy joined the Ambassador on his ride to work, exemplifying how the Europeans adopt active methods of transport to get around and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
In Copenhagen, 85% of all trips are under 5km. In Canberra we might have a little further to travel from home to work, which is why the Government’s Active Travel Office has introduced a Park and Pedal scheme. Free, secure parking at the Arboretum has already motivated many Canberrans who already ride for leisure to ride to work.
Car traffic is increasing, public transport is often overcrowded, and with congestion becoming more of an issue, we need a solution now before our city starts to experience the traffic issues of places like Sydney and Melbourne. More people riding to work in Canberra will improve the health of our population, reduce air and noise pollution, and create a more liveable Capital.
Cycle Works aims to increase the number of people who ride to work in the ACT with a month-long challenge in April.
Current and prospective bike-riding commuters are encouraged to visit www.cycle-works.com.au to sign up and discover the benefits of adopting this European mode of transport.
Anne Treasure is the Communications Manager for Pedal Power ACT. She writes on bike riding in the ACT from the perspective of a lapsed bicycle rider who should be cycling more.