Wellington bus driver workshop, 1 June 2010

This morning Greater Wellington Regional Council and CAW volunteers ran a workshop at Waterloo bus depot for Valley Flyer and Go Wellington drivers. WCC's Emma Hope came along too.

We switched seats: drivers on bikes, and cyclists behind the wheel of the bus.

Key lessons for bikers:
- keep out of the driver's blind spot behind the bus
- ride predictably. Signal, use eye contact.
- if riding up the Glenmore St bus lane, pull over if there's a string of buses behind you.
- keep out of Bus Only lanes such as Willis St and by the Wellington Railway Station
- use lots of reflective gear and lights at night
- avoid riding 2 abreast if the bus needs to get past

Key lessons for drivers:
- sometimes bikers need to occupy the lane for their safety e.g. Adelaide Rd
- advance stop boxes, such as those in Newtown, help cyclists get through an intersection quickly

Drivers were keen for the workshop to be repeated in Wellington.

Dom Post and TV3 came along. TV3 expects it to screen during Campbell Live on Thursday.

Thanks David Laing, Simon Kennett and all the volunteers for making this happen.

Caption: Barry gives Marilyn and Emma a lesson

Groups audience: 


By KIRAN CHUG - The Dominion Post
A group of Wellington bus drivers has switched to pedal power to experience what it feels like to jostle for space with a 12-tonne bus.

Valley Flyer and Go Wellington drivers have complained cyclists are aggressive and try to intimidate them by taking up space in shared lanes.

But yesterday they took part in a workshop aimed at making the roads safer for cyclists by pedalling a few kilometres in their shoes.

Frank Koia, who has driven buses in Lower Hutt and Eastbourne for eight years, said the experience most drivers had with cyclists was not positive.

"It just gets frustrating. It's like you're competing out there."

Cyclists pressured bus drivers into giving them more space because they were the smaller vehicle, he said.

After a 40-minute cycle ride around Lower Hutt yesterday, during which he experienced two cars cutting in front on him, he said he had a new respect for cyclists.

Go Wellington driver Sid Hunia said most bus drivers had experienced aggression from cyclists. "Sometimes cyclists try to intimidate you."

Laura Green has commuted by bicycle between Mt Victoria and Kelburn for four years, and said bus driver behaviour had improved.

"I've not been knocked off my bike per se but I have had to jump off in a hurry and jump the kerb."

She volunteered to help in yesterday's workshop and tried driving a bus in the company's yard, saying the experience had opened her eyes to what it was like to drive such a large vehicle.

Greater Wellington regional council spokeswoman Philippa Lagan said the workshop was organised to help make future bus-bicycle encounters safer and friendlier.

In the past five years, 24 incidents involving buses and cyclists had been reported, four of them serious, but Ms Lagan said anecdotally there were also many near misses.

Valley Flyer general manager Matthew Lear said the workshop would help prevent accidents by raising bus drivers' awareness of what it was like to cycle in the region.

The workshop was put on for 10 bus drivers. About 400 work for Go Wellington and the Valley Flyer services.

Driver Nick Kelly said Wellington's narrow roads were often lined with parked cars, and bus drivers ran the risk of running late if they got stuck behind cyclists.


had a short interview at 5:45 re buses and bikes with Maggie Barry. Fast forward past those ads.

TVNZ's Breakfast's report: fast forward to 3:00

Attached a few files on stats that might be useful for people running bus-cyclist workshops.

Some are cyclist only crash data, one compares four major centres.

Others are specific bus-bike crashes, in this case for CHCH only (a map pin pointing crash sites and a spreadsheet with more details about each crash).  And also a Police Report on each crash.  Although this data is for Christchurch this gives an indication of what the CAS (Crash Analysis System) database can provide.  I got this information from Christchurch Regional NZTA office. That office covers the South Island.  Not sure about the North Island (I will ask).

So it could be useful to have a chat with the coders about what information they can provide.  CAS can order info in various ways, you just need to ask for what you want!