© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

City's major cycle routes plan 'set up to fail'

Rebecca Brebner
Joey Dwyer
shared bike lane
Bike lane segregated, like the one pictured on Ian McKinnon Drive in Auckland, has been suggested as a solution for Christchurch. Wikimedia Commons

Little River Link, Uni-Cycle and Papanui Parallel will soon be ready but cycling lobby group, Spokes, has blasted the routes as a failure.

The Christchurch City Council's $156-million project will create 13 cycle ways over seven years, but not everyone is happy. Businesses fear losing street parking to cycle routes and Spokes Canterbury has serious criticism.

Spokes submissions convenor Dirk De Lu said the major cycle routes were not connected, not segregated from the road and people would find them "too hard".  

"If you give cyclists a network that isn't connected and you mix it with other road users such as cars, some people will be okay with it but others will think it's just too hard."

De Lu said the existing cycleway plan was set up for failure and believed submissions from Spokes would improve the plan.

 Cyclist Frazer Attrill said the cycle routes were unsafe because pedestrians and bike commuters had not been segregated.

"Pedestrians have no idea how to avoid bikes so you just end up doing a slalom course down all the cycle lanes trying the avoid people."

Attrill said painting a line to divide pathways was a simple solution.

City council transport planning manager Lynette Ellis said the cycle routes were built to carry large numbers of cyclists in a safe and effective way.

She was excited to see the first routes finished.

"What we're trying to achieve is a complete, connected, continuous network of cycle ways that makes sense to people," she said.