Western Leader : February 17th 2012
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But this week they under- took a different kind of race when they joined in the fifth annual Auckland Commuter Challenge. The event, sponsored by Urgent Couriers, is designed to encourage Aucklanders to leave their cars at home and use public transport or cycle to work. The sailors joined Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford and Urgent Couriers sales manager Deane Tetley to test which mode of transport would be the quickest into the city – bike, car, bus or train. They left the New Lynn transport centre at 7.15am and headed towards the city to the finish line at the Wynyard Quarter. The wet and windy con- ditions didn’t stop Mr Tetley cycling to first place in 30 minutes. He bikes to work some days and wasn’t surprised by the win. Mr Tetley was neck and neck with the bus when he got to Bond St in Kingsland but pulled away once he got into the city and says being able to ride all the way to the finish line was an advantage. Ms Aleh came second by bus in 44 minutes. Mr Twyford caught the train which took him 53 minutes, making him last equal with Mr Snow-Hansen who drove his car in the con- test. Mr Twyford says the result shows Auckland needs a CBD rail link. ‘‘There’s only one con- clusion you can draw from this and that’s we definitely need a CBD rail link and elec- trification of the train sys- tem,’’ he says. ‘‘It would have knocked 20 minutes off my trip and I would have been the clear winner.’’ Mr Snow-Hansen says he faced heavy traffic on his trip to the city and it took a long time to get on the motorway. Urgent Couriers managing director Steve Bonnici says the challenge proves the efficiency and benefits of cyc- ling over driving to work. ‘‘Auckland roading and transport has undergone numerous changes in the last five years and still we have a serious traffic congestion problem. ‘‘Leaving the car at home and either cycling or taking public transport even once a week can make a significant difference, both to the environment, and to your health and well-being.’’ Urgent Couriers co- ordinates the Commuter Challenge to highlight its concern about the environ- mental impact of cars on Auckland’s environment. The company says it is the country’s only carbon neutral courier company. ● The Western Leader con- ducted its own transport challenge in May last year. Cyclist Jamie Till won after cycling from the New Lynn transport centre to Victoria St West in 21 minutes; West- ern Leader reporters came second in a car in 34 minutes; the bus took 44 minutes; and the train 54 minutes, which included walking time to the final destination.
February 16th 2012
February 21st 2012