INDEPENDENT NEWS

Bus drivers swap seats with cyclists.

Published: Wed 27 Oct 2010 01:08 PM
October 27, 2010
MEDIA STATEMENT.
Bus drivers swap seats with cyclists.
Environment Canterbury hosted a Bus-Bike Interaction Workshop, which invited regular cyclists and bus drivers to take a look from the other side of the windscreen, in Christchurch last week.
The workshop, facilitated by Glen Koorey of the Cycling Advocates Network (CAN), consisted of practical exercises. It provided cyclists and bus drivers with the opportunity to discuss and exchange views in order to gain an understanding of transport issues from each other’s perspective.
“The aim of the workshop was to improve understanding between cyclists and bus drivers. It was the first of its kind in Christchurch, following similar successful events in Auckland and Wellington, but it could be the first of many events held here,” says Glen Koorey.
Cyclists got to experience bus operations up close, including seeing the view from the bus driver’s seat, and hear about the everyday challenges that drivers face. Participants then followed a 6km cycle route around the city, with each cyclist buddying up with a driver to talk about potential traffic/safety issues and experiences along the route.
Cyclists commented on how difficult it is for bus drivers to see behind and to the side, exactly where cyclists tend to be.
Alex Bateman, a planner with Abley Transportation Consultants said that bus drivers are well trained professionals who take the stresses of the road in their stride.
“It was a little different out on the bikes though. My bus driver buddy said it was a relief to get out from the main traffic and into a bike lane where he felt a bit safer.”
“It was amazing to see how quickly people’s viewpoints change once they can see the road through other eyes,” he said.
“There was plenty of discussion and helpful suggestions from the people who took part. I think that everyone learned something new or was able to take something positive away with them,” says Glen Koorey.
“From the feedback session, everyone agreed that considerate road use and a little courtesy goes a long way.”
ends

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