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Charity cyclists shocked at state of roads

Published: 6:23PM Saturday December 19, 2009 Source: ONE News

A family of three who has taken it upon themselves to raise money for charity by cycling the length of New Zealand is shocked at how dangerous the country's roads are.

The generous plans have come to a screeching halt because the Van Wezemael family say the roads are just too dangerous.

The family is here all the way from Spain to cycle the length of the country. They are raising money for the charity Forest and Bird, aiming to get people thinking about shrinking their carbon footprint.

The ride started at the top of New Zealand in Cape Reinga but in places it has come to a screeching halt as the roads are so dangerous the family says they have only been able to cycle half of it.

"When a truck passes you at 100km an hour, the sheer replacement of the air is very, very scary," Wouter Van Wezemael says. 

And even though the government has plans to build seven seperate new cycleways, Forest and Bird say that is not going far enough.

 "You've got to link the people between one cycleway and the next," says Kevin Hackwell from Forest and Bird.

Government statistics show that so far this year eight cyclists have been killed on the roads and the fear is now that it is holiday season that number will get much worse.

The family is heading to the South Island on Sunday to continue their journey.

They do want to make it to the end but they are tired of others on the road.

You can follow the families journey on their website.