Call for calm: Another cyclist met with 'expletive-ridden tirade'

A cyclist rides around a truck parked across a cycleway in Dunedin yesterday. PHOTO: STEPHEN...
A cyclist rides around a truck parked across a cycleway in Dunedin yesterday. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
A transport industry leader has called for calm in Dunedin, after a cyclist said he was verbally abused when he complained about a truck driver parking across a cycle lane.

The incident comes after a video emerged this week of a man urging his truck driver colleague to run down a cyclist in Portobello Rd.

Mayor Dave Cull supported the call by Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley for an easing of tensions in the city, encouraging cyclists and truckies to share the road.

In the latest incident, a man said he was riding along Fryatt St on Wednesday when he noticed a Fairfield Transport truck double-parked on the marked cycle lane near the Steel & Tube warehouse.

He stopped beside the truck and asked the driver whether he was aware he was parked in a cycle lane, but received a blunt reply.

Aware Fairfield Transport was a contractor to Steel & Tube, he entered the complex to complain, but was told to speak to the transport company directly.

The cyclist then rode around to the nearby Fairfield Transport depot where he asked to speak to a manager.

He met a man who said he was a manager, who he said "laughed loudly" when told of the encounter with the truck driver, as a crowd of employees gathered.

The cyclist said the man then unleashed an "expletive-ridden tirade that was directed at me with anger and venom".

Fearing for his safety, the man said he left the depot as he weathered further abuse, and called Steel & Tube's head office when he returned home.

Steel & Tube quality manager Damian Miller said an investigation had been launched into the incident.

The ODT understands two Steel & Tube health and safety employees will fly down from Christchurch for a meeting with the man in Dunedin today.

A Fairfield Transport spokesman said he had taken issue with the man entering the yard without permission and not wearing the required safety gear, but otherwise declined to comment.

The rider, who asked to remain anonymous because he feared retribution from the men who allegedly abused him, said he would be approaching police if he was not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation of the incident by Steel & Tube.

Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley called for an easing of hostility on local roads.

"There's obviously ongoing tensions."

The forum promoted tolerance between all road users, but riders were not blameless for the escalating tensions and could be "hot-headed," Mr Shirley said.

Mr Cull said there would be winners and losers in any reallocation of road space, but rejected any suggestion the cycleway should be moved away from the harbourside industrial area.

"The idea you shouldn't have a cycleway in an industrial area is just silly.

"What if people in the industrial area want to cycle to work?"

Dunedin City Council transport group manager Richard Saunders said vehicles were not permitted to obstruct a cycle lane while loading and unloading.

Comments

Sounds like exactly the same response I get when pointing out to cyclists that they shouldn't be on the footpath — either ignored or abused.

Have any of these cyclist ever tried to park a truck i bet the would park over cycle lanes as well . Is not better to inconvenience a few foul mouthed cyclist who abuse car drivers all the time than block a can lane that can inconvenience hundreds of cars trucks and vans

Happens quite frequently that trucks are parked across the cycle lanes in that area, and much less often elsewhere in Dunedin. Most times, it's no big deal, because traffic is light, and it's safe to pass, for anyone not just cyclists (quite often the truck will obstruct part of the adjacent (motor vehicle) lane as well. So how big of a problem this is depends hugely on where it's happening.

As for the dum-dum truck passenger, why give him any air time?