Call for separated cycleway on Dyers Rd

Cyclists say recent upgrades to Dyers Rd have not made it safer for them.

They have the backing of city councillor Yani Johanson who wants separated cycleways along the busy route between South New Brighton and Woolston.

Cyclists have made submissions over the issue to the city council’s Long Term Plan 2018-2028.

The New Zealand Transport Agency is being pushed to redress its decision of not adding a separated cycleway along Dyers Rd when it undertook a $3.2 million project of widening the road last year.

Concerns have been raised in the Long Term Plan 2018-2028 submissions with residents calling it a “missed opportunity but not too late to rectify.”

But a NZTA spokeswoman said it may not be ideal to encourage cyclists to use the stretch of highway due to speed of traffic, the refuse depot and people towing trailers with loose items such as tree branches.

She said the agency installed on­-road cycleways on both sides of Dyers Rd over the extents of the project. There is also a footpath on the western side of Dyers Rd and a small length of footpath on the eastern side tied into the parking bays and pedestrian crossing point.

But Cr Johanson said he cannot see how the current cycle lanes are safer.

“Without a question that is going to be a popular cycle route for people going from New Brighton to Sumner along the Coastal Pathway.

“You think how dangerous is it when you have got heavy vehicles, a lot of debris and the tragedy there was room for a separate cycleway and they didn’t do it,” he said.

Cr Johanson has asked Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee chairwoman Pauline Cotter and Mayor Lianne Dalziel to write to NZTA over the issue.

He is hoping in the future it will be a “fundamental requirement” for NZTA to add cycleways to state highways.

About two weeks ago, the Linwood-­Central-­Heathcote Community Board requested a post-construction road safety audit on Dyers Rd from NZTA.

Figures show about nine per cent of all traffic using Dyers Rd are buses/heavy vehicles.

New Brighton resident Celeste Marie Donovan said in a submission it was “highly disappointing” to discover after months of roadworks, a cycleway was not added.

Resident Elizabeth Odell said cycling along Dyers Rd is not for the “faint-hearted.”

“It is quite freaky riding your bike along Dyers Rd, with fast vehicles beside you and heaps of trucks thundering by,” she said.

Spokes Canterbury chairman Don Babe said cycleways are expensive and refitting a cycleway on Dyers Rd will be far more expensive now than originally.

He said it is much better to get it right the first time.