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Bikers: Cycleways need more work

The city council is building cycleways across Christchurch, but bikers say they are not up to scratch.

Jacob Johnson finds out what locals think about cycling in the city

The city council has thirteen major cycleways planned for Christchurch, four of which are already finished and open.

Cyclist Dan Sims said he did not like the layout of the cycleways.

"I think it's a bit weird that [council] chooses to put them on major routes. Even though they're separating two streams, you still have a conflict. In other countries they seem to put them on quieter streets."

Local cyclist Simon Lightbody said although cycling infrastructure had increased since the earthquakes, the cycleways were unsafe.

Christchurch will host its first ever Asia-Pacific Cycle Congress next month, where delegates will discuss how to deliver benefits to cycle networks in the community.

The congress is part of the city's month long festival, Biketober.

Councillor Pauline Cotter said the routes were designed to make cycling safer, but locals thought the existing cycle-ways still needed work.

Locals say existing cycleways need more work Jacob Johnson

Cotter, who heads the Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee, said while there were always things to learn, the council had no plans to change any major cycleways.

"We think we are already aware of best practice. We've had lots of experts out from the Netherlands over the years and the kings of cycling over there.

"I don't think we'll be going and reinventing our plans."

Cotter said the council was trying to introduce new cycleways off main roads for cyclists' safety, but it was challenging to construct them around an already existing road network.

 "Where we can, we're taking them into the quieter streets, but obviously to connect the routes, some of them have to run down parts of the busier roads."

 She said people would appreciate the cycleways when they were finished.

"It's a bit painful sometimes during construction, but you've got to start somewhere. The more of these that we get open the more people will get out on their bikes using them."

Cotter hoped Biketober would encourage people to start cycling in Christchurch.

All of the cycleways are due to be completed in 2024.