22 Feb 2019

'Lycra louts': Auckland Transport to try to educate cyclists

5:14 pm on 22 February 2019

Auckland Transport will hold pit stops to try to educate the "lycra louts" who have led to a school cancelling its walking bus.

Two cyclists in a race

Newton Central School's principal says some cyclists are 'lycra louts'. Photo: 123RF

Newton Central School's principal Riki Teteina used the term to describe cyclists who had verbally abused or almost collided with parents and children on their way to school along the congested shared path.

The school cancelled its walking bus this year because it was too dangerous.

Auckland Transport's network management and safety manager, Randhir Karma, said Auckland Transport staff would hold a pit-stop clinic next week near the busy section at the city end of the northwestern cycleway.

It would try to educate the cyclists as well as scooter riders and walkers, he said.

Pedestrians, scooter and bike riders on the northwestern cycleway.

Newton School cancelled its walking bus this year because it was too dangerous. Photo: RNZ / Rowan Quinn

Staff would provide parents with high vis vests and accompany them and their children on their walk to school, he said.

It would also repaint the cycleway's centre line.

But Mr Teteina said a painted line didn't cut it.

The only meaningful safety improvement would be Auckland Transport widening the congested piece of cycleway, he said.

He was frustrated that none of AT's bosses had fronted up to the school.

"Those who make the decisions are the ones who really need to get in touch with me. Stop hiding behind middle management and explain what they plan to do and what their timeline is going to be," he said.

Auckland Transport said the widening issue was complicated because a number of different land owners were involved.

It needed to sort out what land was needed before it could look at any engineering work, he said.

Mr Teteina said the community was behind his stance, with more parents had coming forward since RNZ's first story with more tales of near misses or to offer support, he said.

"You have your lycra louts ... those people who believe that it's more important that they keep their cadence at 35km an hour to meet their personal goals rather than slowing down for some children and their parents who are also trying to get to school and work safely," he said.