Trail cyclist wants better controls to stop dogs leaving their 'mark'

Sharing the Queenstown Trail between walkers and cyclists is not the problem - it's the pet poo, says one resident.

Responding to an article in the Queenstown Times on Wednesday, Gary Anderson, of Dalefield, said he spent more time on his bike avoiding dogs and their doings, than he did avoiding walkers.

He used the trails several nights of the week and wanted the Queenstown Lakes District Council to take a look at better dog control, Mr Anderson said.

''They need to be on a leash.''

Not only were dogs getting in the way of cyclists and fouling the cycleway, they were also disturbing the birdlife in nearby farms and reserves, he said.

The biggest culprits were dog owners on bikes, who would often let their canine run free,

dogs sometimes leaving their ''mark'' on the track, he said.

When asked by the Queenstown Times this week, council community services manager Paul Wilson said dogs did not have to be on a leash and ''voice control'' was acceptable.

A speed restriction on cyclists was not being considered as it would be impossible to police, he said.

This comment flowed from earlier concerns from Irish visitor Pat Hamell over the difficulties of cyclists, walkers and pets sharing the Queenstown Trail.

Mr Hamell and his wife visit Queenstown for three months of the year and say they are regularly frightened while out walking by the speed of cyclists on the trail. Mr Hamell's accusation cyclists went too fast on the trail was rejected by Mr Anderson, who said the trail was built for cyclists and walkers to use at the same time.

''More so the problem can be when walkers are inconsiderate walking in big bunches and not to one side,'' Mr Anderson said.

He had been enjoying using the trail and, although there were a few blind corners, it was a fantastic facility for training, he said.

''It is a cycleway and I don't see why sharing could ever be an issue.''

He was disturbed by the number of trail users wearing headphones as his warnings to them when approaching would go unheard, creating a risk of collision. Bells on bikes and speed restrictions were ''ridiculous'' suggestions, he said.

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