Got a chip on your shoulder?
Or a ‘works end thank you’ sign blocking your shoulder? Contractors doing road repairs follow the Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management. The Code sets out where to put signs, temporary speed limits, cones and guarding around road works. It does ask contractors to look after cyclists’ interests but, too often, cyclists using shoulders get pushed out into the live traffic lane to share with motor vehicles by those temporary signs.
CAN recently got in touch with the NZTA, who are currently reviewing the Code, and have asked them to insert stronger wording to prevent this happening where people are biking in the shoulder. They’ve taken our feedback on, and hopefully a stronger Code will soon trickle down to contractors on the ground.
Meanwhile, if your shoulder is blocked by a long-legged sign and road cone saying ’shoulder closed’ or ‘works end thank you’, try to make the time to stop and remind the contractor’s traffic management supervisor (there must be one for every site) that they need to buck up their ideas. Section A5.7 says they must ensure the safe movement of all road users PARTICULARLY peds & cyclists! The process in the Code says contractors must assess the site, so they ought to know whether we’re using the shoulder. Your Council’s also involved - they sign-off on traffic management plans, so give them a yell too if you think it’s a safety issue.