Cyclist knocked off road by bus

Dunedin cyclist Carl Haddon, who was knocked off his bicycle by a bus at The Cove on Sunday,...
Dunedin cyclist Carl Haddon, who was knocked off his bicycle by a bus at The Cove on Sunday, steers clear of certain routes in and around the city. Gerard O'Brien.
Dunedin's low level of traffic congestion actually makes the city more dangerous for cyclists, because it means drivers tend to travel faster, a Cycling Otago member says.

Carl Haddon, of Helensburgh, was knocked off his bicycle by a bus at The Cove on Sunday, while competing in a time trial.

Police were investigating the incident, the latest in which a cyclist was hit by a vehicle in the city.

Last November, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull sought urgent action to improve cycle safety on the one-way state highway systems through Dunedin, following the death of a cyclist in Cumberland St near Dunedin Hospital.

Dunedin City councillors unanimously supported an approach by the council's chief executive, Paul Orders, to the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) for a safety review, which was initiated.

Yesterday, acting Otago-Southland state highways manager Simon Underwood said the NZTA expected to provide the council with an initial report in four to six weeks.

He said the review would lead to a longer-term view of what a safer central cycling network would look like, as well as more immediate ''quick wins'' which could be achieved in the short term.

Mr Haddon (40) cycled daily and avoided certain routes which he said were too dangerous.

State Highway 88 between Dunedin and Port Chalmers was a ''death trap'' and Portobello Rd was not worth the risk, he said.

It was near the intersection of Portobello Rd and Irvine Rd where Mr Haddon was hit by a passing passenger bus about 9.15am on Sunday.

Mr Haddon said he was cycling along the far left of the road when the bus veered around him to pass.

The driver pulled back to the left before completely passing Mr Haddon, who was hit by the rear of the bus and pushed over on to the footpath.

The bus did not stop and Mr Haddon was not sure whether the driver was aware he had been hit.

His clothing was torn beyond repair and parts of his bicycle would need replacing.

Mr Haddon was scratched and bruised but managed to avoid serious injury.

''I was really lucky, actually. It could have been much worse.''

He contacted police and was treated at the site by St John staff.

Mr Haddon was hit by a car while cycling in Auckland years ago but said in some ways Dunedin posed a greater risk to cyclists.

''The traffic moves quite quickly here, because it's not congested and there is a general lack of care for cyclists on the roads. Occasionally, you get people that are really aggressive on purpose,'' he said.

Mr Haddon was comfortable cycling along the one-way systems in Dunedin, as long as he did not have to cross lanes to turn right.

He said the more separation there was between cycle and traffic lanes the better.

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