Cy­clists, buses don’t mix

Central Leader - - NEWS - By STRUAN PUR­DIE

CRAM­MING cy­clists into busy bus lanes is do­ing lit­tle to en­cour­age cycling on Auck­land’s con­gested roads, a cy­cle ad­vo­cate group says.

The lanes are part of the par­tially com­pleted Re­gional Cy­cle Net­work, which aims to make Auck­land a more cy­cle-friendly city.

How­ever, Cy­cle Ac­tion chair­woman Bar­bara Cuth­bert says com­bined bus and cy­cle lanes de­ter a lot of peo­ple from bik­ing.

‘‘There’s no doubt many cy­clists are in­tim­i­dated by shar­ing a lane with a bus.’’

Al­though re­cent fig­ures sug­gest more Auck­lan­ders are opt­ing to bike, a sur­vey by Auck­land Coun­cil re­vealed just 23 per cent of peo­ple see it as a safe op­tion.

Luke Chivers took up cycling to univer­sity last year to save money and train for a half iron­man. But just one week af­ter start­ing he was knocked off his bike af­ter a car failed to give way.

The ac­ci­dent dashed the 20-year-old’s hopes of an iron­man and left him on crutches for four weeks.

Mr Chivers says he has not been com­pletely put off cycling and con­sid­ered bik­ing to univer­sity again af­ter mov­ing to a new flat in Mt Al­bert at the start of the year.

How­ever, he has de­cided not to be­cause the Do­min­ion Rd cy­cle lane is also used by buses and mo­tor­cy­cles.

‘‘There are so many buses that go down there, that they have to go around you – they can’t just stay be­hind a cy­clist all the way down Do­min­ion Rd.

‘‘All it takes is one [driver] to look for a bus in a bus lane, for­get­ting it’s a cy­cle lane and just pull out. In­stantly you’re cut off and you’re go­ing to fly over the top of them.’’

Auck­land Trans­port ad­mits it is aware of the is­sues with the Do­min­ion Rd cy­cle lane but says the width of the road lim­its any new de­vel­op­ment.

Mrs Cuth­bert

says

the lanes are not only a dan­ger to cy­clists but are also in­ef­fi­cient for buses that are con­stantly held up try­ing to pass cy­clists.

‘‘We have to have bus lanes where they can ac­tu­ally travel along like the North­ern Busway or at least, ide­ally, not have to ne­go­ti­ate with cy­clists.’’

Auck­land Trans­port says it will spend $30 mil­lion on new cy­cle­ways over the next three years as it tries to con­nect the gaps in the Re­gional Cy­cle Net­work.

How­ever, that of­fers lit­tle com­fort for those shar­ing ex­ist­ing cy­cle lanes along busy stretches like Do­min­ion Rd.

Shar­ing woes:

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