15 Nov 2013

NZTA accepts Coroner's call for cycling panel

2:49 pm on 15 November 2013

The New Zealand Transport Agency says a communication breakdown led to it not taking part in a Coroner's review of cycling deaths.

The sole recommendation from Gordon Matenga, who looked into the deaths of 13 cyclists, is for the agency to form and lead an expert panel to gather evidence and make recommendations.

In his review, Mr Matenga said the Transport Agency chose not to make submissions and he was surprised he didn't formally hear from it.

However, the agency says it was not invited to make a submission or go to hearings. Road safety director Ernst Zöllner says it should have been offered those chances.

Mr Zöllner says it was asked only to give technical information and it is normally asked to make submissions.

He says the agency accepts the review and that it has a role to play, and hopes a panel can be convened by the end of this year.

The family of a cyclist killed on a road near Taupo supports the call to review cycling safety.

Jane Farrelly, 50, was struck and killed by a truck while riding in a group near Taupo in March this year.

Her sister, Tina McCullough, says another review is not necessarily the right way forward, but it is a solid option. She says Coroner's recommendations do not necessarily have to be picked up.