Safety fears over a newly established Tauranga cycleway have prompted a review of a $45 million roading project.

The audit of the Maungatapu Underpass comes following concerns of the green painted cycleway which runs along Welcome Bay Rd towards the underpass, cutting across traffic accessing the free turn into Welcome Bay Lane, travelling at 60km/h.

Cyclists last month expressed safety concerns over the cycleway.

The New Zealand Transport Agency and the Tauranga City Council have since introduced a temporary slower speed limit and additional orange lane markers to help manage the traffic.

Tauranga City Council transportation manager Martin Parkes, also speaking on behalf of the transport agency, said the safety measures would now stay in place while an audit into the cycleway's safety was carried out.


The organisations noticed a decrease in the average speeds of vehicles entering Welcome Bay Lane, "but the area needs a long-term solution", he said.

"The whole underpass area is to be reviewed by an independent cycle safety expert.

"We expect the review to recommend further safety improvements for people who are riding bikes between Turret Rd and Welcome Bay Rd."

The review is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Construction on the underpass under State Highway 29A began nearly three years ago. It officially opened on June 22.

"The option of closing Welcome Bay Lane can't be ruled out if the safety matters can't be mitigated," Parkes said.

The company looking after the review is Viastrada from Christchurch, a company with a significant track record in the development of cycleways, safety projects and safety audits, he said.

The cost of the safety review could not be provided at this stage, Parkes said.

Cyclists have raised concerns at the safety of a new cycleway in Welcome Bay.

The review also comes after the council and transport agency stated the cycleway and the intersection design met current engineering codes "but the agency and council were investigating additional measures to improve cyclist safety, which was their first priority".

Cyclist Ivan Davie said the review would be great "if the learnings from this can be taken on for future projects".

"It's brilliant, whoever has taken this on. If it's going to stop cars with a level of speed crossing a green cycle lane, that has got to be positive."

But Davie doubted motorists would stick to a 30km/h limit.

Fellow cyclist Karl Young was using the cycleway yesterday and referred to a motorist who slowed down to wave him through as he cycled.

"But I couldn't see her waving, but she slowed down then the traffic behind her slowed down before anyone realised what was going on," he said.

During Young's time with the Bay of Plenty Times at the intersection, only one of every three cars travelling through to Welcome Bay Lane indicated.

"I'm very concerned about it, but I don't know what the answer is," Young said.

"The thing is, pretty much everyone knows a cyclist. I wish everyone would bear that in mind when on the roads."