Bikes in Lyttelton Tunnel a hot topic again as buses struggle to cater for cyclists

The Lyttelton Tunnel. Photo: Geoff Sloan
The Lyttelton Tunnel. Photo: Geoff Sloan
The debate over how to make it easier for cyclists to travel from Lyttelton to Christchurch city via the tunnel has sparked up again.

Cycle advocate and Lyttelton resident, Sarah Van Der Burch, said she wants it to be easier to get bikes through the tunnel.

"If you can’t bike through the tunnel or bus, you will drive your car," she said.

"I love biking. If, as a community, we want to reduce emissions, reducing our time in cars is something we can all do as individuals."

The issue has been raised on numerous occasions in the past.

Environment Canterbury general manager of public transport Stewart Gibbon said it engaged with cycle advocates from Lyttelton two years ago to explore options. 

"We explored the idea of secure bike storage on the city side of the tunnel with the bike advocacy group, but there was little interest, and an appropriate location and funding was not found," said Gibbon. 

Instead the route 28 buses were fitted with racks that hold three bikes.

However, Van Der Burch had heard about occasions when there was not enough room for all the bikes on the rack - and cyclists had to wait for the next bus.

Andrew Turner.
Andrew Turner.
She has already discussed her ideas with Lyttelton resident and Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner.

Said Turner: "This is an important idea to talk about.

"We need to think about whether increasing capacity to carry bikes on buses could work or maybe incentivise cycling where travelling from Lyttelton to the gondola and back could be free if you have a bike."

Turner said these decisions would be up to ECan.

Cycling through the tunnel or through any of the side tunnels has been researched and dismissed as unfeasible and unsafe.

Gibbon said there will be a service review of route 28 in the coming year.

Van Der Burch hoped to talk at ECan’s transportation sub-committee in late October. 



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