A novel campaign aimed at making roads safer for cyclists, and making motorists more aware of them, will be put to the test in Wanganui later this month.

The Share the Road campaign was launched by the NZ Transport Agency in the major metropolitan centres earlier this year and Wanganui road users will get a taste of it on April 30.

Glenda Leitao, Roadsafe co-ordinator for Wanganui-Rangitikei, said the local campaign would offer cyclists a chance to move around some city streets either behind or in front of a bus, while passengers would ride in the bus.

Ms Leitao said both cyclists and passengers would be asked for their observations to make sure the campaign was targeting the correct areas.


"It's aimed at being a fun morning with a focus on sharing the road," she said.

She said cyclists sometimes felt they needed "eyes in the back of their heads". Occasionally the motorists were fed up with the cyclists but this would give all road users the chance to get involved and have their say.

NZTA research says some motorists feel negatively towards cyclists, and see them as a nuisance. They can also dissociate themselves from cyclists and do not identify with them as a group, which is particularly dangerous because it can be used to justify behaviour, good and bad. The agency said motorists sometimes looked in the right direction but failed to give way, most likely since they did not expect them to be there.

As a result the agency developed a Share the Road campaign, encouraging road users to be courteous to each other.

And while it targets motorists, the agency will talk to cyclists about sharing the road and being safe.

The campaign starts at 9.30am at the Wanganui District Council car park on Guyton St. For more information contact: Glenda.leitao@horizons.govt.nz