Shining a light on cycle safety

Cyclists in Hastings may have seen some pop-ups around the city this month, as the Be Safe Be Seen cycling campaign heads into its third week.

Run by iWay over the month of May, the pop-ups are being held across Hastings and Napier, highlighting the importance of wearing reflective clothing and using bright lights when biking or walking during the shorter daylight hours.

Since May 1, three pop-ups have been held in Hastings with another three to go before the end of the month.

At these events, 93 cycle lights have been given out, along with 40 sets of reflective fittings and 51 reflective arm/ankle bands.

Hastings District Council strategic engineer Eynon Phillips says the feedback from cyclists has been positive and appreciative.

“There seems to be a strong awareness among people on bikes around the need for safety and being seen, though perhaps less so for those walking.”

Hastings district mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, active transport committee chairman Simon Nixon and local cycling enthusiasts Bonnie and Larry Burch called into the latest pop-up on St Aubyn St West this week to add their support.

The Burch’s know the ins and outs of cycling around Hawke’s Bay intimately having started commuting from Hastings to work in Napier and Taradale in 2005.

The pair moved to Melbourne to live in 2010, and it was there that they sold the car, ditching motorised transport for good.

Over the years they have been on international tours by bike, including cycling from Melbourne to Darwin, and from Istanbul to London.

Back living in Hastings since 2016, they say a carless lifestyle is not difficult to achieve.

“It’s really easy – you have to allow a bit more time but we manage to get everything done with bikes – going to the shops, going to the supermarkets,” says Bonnie.

She says they keep off the main roads as much as possible, planning routes around the cycle paths where they can, and choosing times of day to get around when the vehicle traffic is less heavy.

“It’s easier to do that now we are retired, but we still managed when we were working, we just got up a bit earlier and allowed more time.”

From left Bonnie Burch, Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, Larry Burch and Hastings councillor and active transport committee chairman Simon Nixon met up at a Be Safe Be Seen pop-up in Hastings this week.

Having met Mrs Hazlehurst out on a ride recently, Bonnie says they have been sharing ideas with her, and the mayor invited them to also share their ideas with the active transport committee and staff to give further input into future iWay planning.

“It’s been great talking to Bonnie and Larry – they have so much knowledge of what it’s like to bike around and between our cities and that kind of input is so valuable for us,” Mrs Hazlehurst says.

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