How Tamaki Drive Cyclist Died


UPDATES: Another cyclist has died. It’s the  woman critically injured after a group of cyclists she was riding with was struck by a car near Morrinsville on Sunday. Police say she died this morning in Waikato Hospital.

Kay Heather Wolfe, 45, of Gordonton had been one of 10 cyclists from the Morrinsville Wheelers Cycling Club travelling in a group along the Morrinsville-Walton Rd when a car driven by a 23-year-old woman crossed the centreline on a corner and crashed into the group.

Two male cyclists, Mark Andrew Ferguson, 46, and Wilhelm Muller, 71, died at the scene while Ms Wolfe suffered critical injuries and was taken to Waikato Hospital by ambulance.

A fourth cyclist suffered minor injuries while the driver was also taken to hospital for treatment.

The woman killed last night on Tamaki Drive has been named. She was Jane Mary Bishop, a U.K. citizen working in New Zealand temporarily.


Police say that the 27 year old female cyclist killed at rush hour tonight on Tamaki Drive had taken evasion action to avoid a parked motorist who had opened a car door.

She then fell  under a truck travelling alongside her.

She was trapped under the truck for sometime but efforts to save here proved unsuccessful. She died at scene.

Police remind  motorists to check thoroughly for cyclists before opening car doors or pulling out from parked positions.

The section of Tamaki Drive was closed for nearly three hours, right through the peak time.

Police are trying to reach the cyclist’s next of kin and say it may be tomorrow morning before her name is released.

Last weekend, 3 cyclists died on the roads, prompting the cycling group CAN to call for new safety measures.

CAN spokesperson Patrick Morgan says news of the deaths has highlighted the need for New Zealand’s roads to be made safer for people cycling and those wanting to take it up.

“There are Government strategies and programmes to promote cycling and cycle safety, but we haven’t seen enough changes on the street yet. Urgent action is needed. This will require a lot more resources and leadership to make changes.”

Cycling safety issues remain along Tamaki Drive

After the vigorous Auckland City council-led debate about cycling safety along the Auckland waterwfront, work began in May to introduce a number of agreed initiatives with two changes. These were a city-bound morning clearway (no parking)and an east-bound evening clearway. The evening clearway will now begin at the first street light east of Kohimarama Yacht Club. Due to insufficient lane width, the proposal to widen the existing on-street parking for wide boat trailers was considered to be not feasible and was dropped.

In the accident that prompted the debate, four cyclists were injured – one seriously – after being hit by a car.

A a 20 year-old woman later faced four charges of careless driving causing injury. In February in the Auckland court,  she was was fined $4000 and disqualified from driving for six months, which some cycling advocates said wasn’t enough.




  1. Pippa says:

    This is so sad. I commute daily on Tamaki Drive, and i consider myself one of the motorists who is quite happy to share the road with cyclists.

    I am concerned however, that all the new clearways on Tamaki Drive are not being enforced. The signs were “unveiled” a couple of weeks ago, but the clearways are still full of cars in the restricted periods. The stretch between Mechanics Bay and Ngapipi Rd eastbound is the worst - two lanes of cars with very little room for cyclists. Enforce the clearway and there would be room for everyone. Tonight it was so busy, there wasn’t a spare park on the clearway!

  2. Richard says:

    I don’t know how this accident happened but it’s about time our trucks were fitted with safety bars along the side like they have in Europe and have done for decades. I think they are called submarine bars and also help stop cars submarining under the truck.

    I know they have been talked about here but like anything else involving safety ignored.

  3. max says:

    This is horrible - ghastly indeed. And it gets out the cynic in me - I wonder how many letters to the editor in the next couple days will blame the cyclists (“they knew they were risking their ives, blah blah blah…”)

    Taking a position more central on the road (i.e. outside the door zone) is also difficult, because it can get you abused by motorists for being “rude”.

    A 70ish year old cycling friend of mine also remarked some months back how hard it was these days to see whether there’s someone in a parked car when you approach from the rear, what with headrests and tinted windows. Add narrow traffic lanes, oblivious car occupants not checking backwards before opening doors, and lack of safety devices on trucks (if that played a role), and you have a dangerous mixture.

  4. Geoff B says:

    Why wasn’t she using the cycleway? She would be alive if she had.

    Just this past Sunday I had to drive within 50cm of a cyclist because he insisted on riding three metres out from the curb on Tamaki Drive, so he could yak with his mate alongside.

    I think it’s time to ban cyclists from Tamaki Drive road lanes. They have cycle lanes provided, so there’s no excuse for using road lanes unless they can keep up with the 50km traffic.

  5. max says:

    Geoff B you disgust me. You are what is wrong with this country. Blaming the victim.

    “They have cycle lanes provided”

    In some spotty little patches. Most of which are WESTBOUND. Most of which are too narrow to avoid a car door or a pedestrian. Eastbound, the “cycleway” is for long stretches a narrow piece of shared footpath with pedestrians and CAR DOORS OPENING ONTO IT.

    “Just this past Sunday I had to drive within 50cm…”

    And if I based my judgement of car drivers on the occasional car driver who annoyed me, I would ban car drivers from driving in NEW ZEALAND. Full stop.

  6. Su Yin says:

    @Geoff B: I can’t believe you are blaming the victim! There are no ‘cycleways’ along Tamaki Drive. It is a shared footpath with heavy foot traffic and is plenty unkempt — broken glass, uneven surfaces from tree roots and no maintenance, etc.

    The city-bound lanes either narrow down drastically around blind corners or end suddenly.

    I’m on a non-racing (but not slow) bike and I still prefer cycling on the road along Tamaki Drive.

    50 km/h is the speed LIMIT, not the target. People need to drive to conditions and only pass cyclists when it is safe to do so.

    And what would you do if you were stuck behind a slower car with a driver and passengers who insist on yakking with each other? Honk them out of the way into the kerb?

    If that was your mother/wife/daughter/sister/friend on the road, would you pass as closely as 50cm at 50km/h? Well, they are someone else’s mother/wife/daughter/sister/friend.

  7. damian says:

    There is a simple solution to this issue on Tamaki Drive.

    Increase the cycle lane width and where the carriageway lane width can not accomodate it, remove the parking.

  8. damian says:

    Geoff B

    Congratulations on being awarded bell end of the year

  9. Jon C says:

    I’m told the shared footpath on Tamaki Drive was a very early concession decades ago by the council to acknowledge cyclists exist -after a cyclists campaign demanding space on Tamaki Drive.
    It is always been a disaster and unworkable because the council at the time did not want to really acknowledge them.
    The cyclists did get “half” the footpath - but the one with all the power poles and obstructions and with so many tourists, dog owners, skateboarders and you name it on the footpath unaware cyclists have even some space entitlement, you keep coming across groups of people blocking the whole path,etc
    I used to cycle along it every day for exercise and it’s such a nice vista but gave up and like most other cyclists, use the road which we are also entitled to do.
    We can only hope some good related to safety there can come out of this appalling tragedy.
    If something has to be banned I would ban cars and let cyclists pedestrians and others used the drive as a shared space with taxis, couriers and buses only/

  10. Kurt says:

    The only real solution will cost money but its worth it and that is widening Tamaki Drive and having a dedicated bi-directional cycle lane. A small toll of $1 to use it each way would help recover costs and it would save lives and injuries.

    Perhaps have the inner footpath, obviously wider, that is the one closest to land as a dedicated cycle lane.

    If parking is banned then motorists can’t access the waterfront either to enjoy. And if its suggested they catch buses it won’t happen and why should they, car users have as much right as bike riders to use Tamaki Drive, perhaps more so as they pay road taxes.

    It is such a main arterial for the eastern suburbs that it can’t be relegated to a speed restricted side road.

    I know first hand that push bike riding is incredibly risky and bordering on dangerous for the rider in medium to heavy traffic.

    It is much more risky than motorcycles which themselves are risky but at least they have mirrors, horns, decent lighting and brakes, the ability to keep up with traffic speed and riders have the option to wear protecitve clothing and real helmets that actually have some chance of working.

    I was cycling around Tamaki Drive and gave up, its safer to smoke. Its way too dangerous for pedestrians in the cycle lane on the footpaths and was just not worth the risk on the road in the end.

    You are reliant on drivers seeing you, dodging idiots who open doors and pedestrians stepping out in front and buses were some of the bigger worries as well.

    Bikes and busy roads dont mix.

  11. Matt says:

    Hey Geoff, point me to the offence of not riding a bicycle on a cycleway where one is provided. Oh, you can’t? Yeah, that’s right.
    Cyclists are allowed to use any road except where otherwise illegal (such as a motorway), whether or not there is a cycleway.

    Have you tried biking on the Tamaki Drive cycleway? Unless you’re walking alongside a child who’s on a bike, forget it. The surface is crap, the other users are mostly ignorant, and given that you can be fined for using a shared path at a “hazardous” speed (where hazardous is at the discretion of the police), why would you bother? I can do 40km/h+ on a flat road, which is very definitely hazardous on a shared path. Even with the worst headwind I’ve ever encountered on Tamaki Drive I can still break 20, which is not safe around pedestrians.

  12. Nick R says:

    I suggest we officially name it the Tamaki Drive “jogger, rollerblader and mums in workout gear pushing huge strollers -way” instead.

  13. daniel says:

    they need to bring in some nice expensive fines for cyclists who dont stay in there lanes,dont keep left,and the especially for the ones that like to take up hole lanes…i passed a train of cyclists yeaterday
    when they had caught up the leader of the train thought it was a good idear to over take me on the inside of a round a bout!
    talk about a death wish…. cyclists and bus drivers are the most ignorant people on the road in my eyes. ofcourse every one has their thoughts….

  14. Matt says:

    daniel, consider this: on average 300 cyclists have been hospitalised, and 10 killed, every year between 2002 and 2008. Only a quarter of them were at fault. So, in my eyes, you need to get your fellow drivers’ collective house in order first.

  15. Matthew says:

    “Just this past Sunday I had to drive within 50cm of a cyclist…”

    No you didn’t. Or are you not in control of your car?

    “Taking a position more central on the road (i.e. outside the door zone) is also difficult, because it can get you abused by motorists for being “rude”.”

    Yes but this is the safest thing to do. Indeed you should never ride up close to the kerb for the same reason - you only have one way to go if you need to swerve, and that is into the traffic. Also you will be less visible, especially to people coming out of side streets.

    The fact is motorists have to get used to the idea that cyclists are vehicles and should only be passed if and when there is enough room.

  16. Richard says:

    Jon you are correct about the cycle path history. In the late 70′s I think , when the policing was still done by the Auckland City Traffic Dept., the chief was the father of a fellow cycling club member

    He was frustrated at nothing being done for cycle safety in Auckland and eventually squeezed a shared path out of the council to use his words “as a start”. It was accepted to be an inferior path as you say going through power poles etc. It was hoped more developments would occur and to a better design and standard.

    Only cyclists who were “potterers” used it but but immediately we had the motorists claiming all cyclists should get out of “their” lanes and get on the path!

    Thirty years passed with no developments because cyclists were going to “go away”!! They didn’t and suddenly this decade marked cycle lanes started to appear many quite suicidal in their design or lack of design.

  17. [...] the wake of the death of a cyclist on Tamaki Drive, Auckland Transport this afternoon announced what action it will [...]


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