Cr Mike Lee read out this message from Mayor Len Brown to the 500 strong crowd who gathered today at the Bikes for Life Rally
My apologies for not being able to attend the Bikes for Life rally today. Safety on our roads is a hugely important issue for the Auckland Council.
The evening of Wednesday 17 November began like any other in Auckland but ended in tragedy for a visitor to our shores. That evening twenty-seven-year-old Jane Mary Bishop, like thousands of others, got on her bike to ride along the beautiful Tamaki waterfront.
She was on a working holiday from the UK, drawn to our country by its open spaces, friendly people and perception of safety.
At a pinch point in the road, Jane swerved to avoid a car that had opened its door. She was hit by a truck and killed. Her death was the fifth death of a cyclist in five days.
We need to move beyond simple positions that cyclists take up too much room or cars are inconsiderate. Most cyclists I know drive a car.
And most car owners will take great pride in watching their sons or daughters take their first tentative pedals on a bike. Most reasonable people see that cyclists have as much right as anyone else to travel along our roads and get home without being harmed.
Whether for recreational or for transport reasons, we need to make high use roads like Tamaki drive safer – and with my colleague Mike Lee, my council has moved to do that.
Mayor Boris Johnson of London says: “a cyclised city is a civilised city” In Auckland, we need to continue working on issues like the regional bike network, the Get Across Harbour Bridge project, the “Share the Space” campaign and general road safety improvements, to better serve the needs of cyclists.
And in turn to help to turn our city into one of the world’s most liveable, civilised, cities. Then we can reduce the number of families whose lives are forever harmed by loved ones who set out on a bike but never came home.
Mayor of Auckland