A Tauranga man says in his view it is only a matter of time before someone is killed at a newly established intersection in Welcome Bay.

Ivan Davie said he was worried the new cycleway which runs along Welcome Bay Rd and through the Maungatapu Underpass cut across traffic travelling into Welcome Bay Lane - the new slip road leading towards Hairini.

Davie cycled into Tauranga regularly and was concerned the cycleway, due to be completed this week, would open before proper safety measures were put in place.

Read more: Traffic delays after two-car crash in central Tauranga
Tauranga's 'desperate' need for safer cruise ship facilities despite top 5 ranking


"Just because you put green paint on the road and a white pictorial of a bike, does that mean a cyclist has the right of way? Is someone driving in 60km/h going to give way? There are no signs saying 'yield'.

"There is nothing slowing traffic down."

Cyclist Paul Armitage says he can see why there are concerns over a new cycleway at Welcome Bay. Photo/John Borren
Cyclist Paul Armitage says he can see why there are concerns over a new cycleway at Welcome Bay. Photo/John Borren

The New Zealand Road Code states motorists crossing a cycle lane must give way to cyclists, but Davie was doubtful motorists would realise this at the intersection.

Three orange bollards subsequently placed at the eastern entrance to Welcome Bay Lane appear to have already been taken out by cars, and now there were only two, Davie said.

"I rang the council twice and said 'I think someone is going to die'."

Davie said he was redirected to the NZ Transport Agency which told him to put his concerns in writing. He said he did not want to "bag the council" but felt it should take more ownership of a potential safety risk in the city.

Cyclist Paul Armitage said he could see how the intersection was a hazard, particularly if a driver was travelling behind other vehicles which could obscure their view of cyclists travelling at speed.

An NZ Transport Agency spokeswoman said in a written statement, also on behalf of the council, that the two organisations wanted to make it as safe and easy as possible for people to ride bikes between Welcome Bay and the city.


"We have identified the cycle lane and slip lane conflict as a concern and have installed bollards for cyclists' safety while we confirm final designs to improve safety and complete the connections."

The transport agency was unable to provide figures for how many complaints there had been regarding the cycleway before publication last night.

NZTA still working on best option for Maungatapu Underpass traffic

The concerns raised about the cycleway come after residents last week expressed frustration about Welcome Bay Rd with a traffic trial, which directed State Highway 29A traffic on to Welcome Bay Rd instead of merging it by the Hairini Bridge on Turret Rd as initially planned.

Transport agency Bay of Plenty systems manager Rob Campbell said the state highway traffic did not benefit as much from the trial as expected, as there was still a level of queuing in the morning peak.

"This means that reconfiguration of the area needs to occur to ensure the best overall and balanced solution for everyone travelling through the area, across both local and state highway traffic," he said.

"It's about a well-functioning overall network rather than a residential vs state highway traffic."