Wheels move for roadside tracks for cyclists
Roadside tracks will be introduced for cyclists on main roads and
highways, said Environment and Natural Resources Minister Champika
Other accommodation such as bicycle parking spaces will be put up in
the city and in townships in future road development plans keeping with
a resolution to be introduced by the Environment and Natural Resources
Development Ministry, the Minister said.
The resolution will focus on providing facilities to cyclists to
promote and recognize bicycles as an environmentally-friendly and
healthy mode of transport, Ranawaka told a press conference at Cinnamon
Lakeside Hotel, Colombo yesterday.
The minister said they will bring in a National Policy to favour
cyclists in recognizing their importance in the sphere of environment as
non air polluters.
Minister Ranawaka said steps will be taken to construct
pedestrian-cyclist tracks alongside main roads and highways to
Trees will be planted adjacent to these cyclists' paths, he said.
He said bicycle parking lots will be introduced in the city and
townships in keeping with the National Policy to be introduced for
"We will also integrate the use of bicycles and promotion of them to
the public under the Environment Ministry's National Action Plan,
Haritha Lanka to contribute towards its major areas of coverage that
fall under Clean Air- Everywhere, Saving the Fauna, Flora and Ecosystem,
Doing away with the Dumps, Water for all and always and Greening the
industries," said Ranawaka.
He said 70 percent of environmentally damaging gases are emitted by
motorized vehicles. "Cyclists do not contribute to air pollution but
their role has been more or less overlooked and we plan to facilitate
them for their worthy contribution," he said.
Over 1,700,000 species of fauna and flora have become extinct in five
occasions in the history of mankind and sixth is the disaster we
ourselves would bring on us by polluting the air by burning fossil fuel,
Cyclists not only contribute to the protection of air they also
contribute towards health, he said.
If one saves the cost that may be incurred due to burning petroleum
in a year due to traffic congestion on highways in Sri Lanka one can
cover half the cost of Samurdhi allocation given to the needy, he
National Mountain Biking Association President Amal Suriyage said
they will introduce special insurance schemes to cyclists and will
provide infrastructure facilities to them.
Environment Ministry Secretary W.M.Wijesuriya and Central Environment
Authority Chairman W. Abeywickrema were also present.