Highway still unsafe, says cyclist

Belmont Bicycle User Group’s Greg Wear near the new Great Eastern Highway bike paths. Picture: Elle Borgward d417905
Belmont Bicycle User Group’s Greg Wear near the new Great Eastern Highway bike paths. Picture: Elle Borgward d417905

Edith Cowan University senior planning lecturer Tim Perkins, also an avid cyclist, said just painting a strip down the side of a road bed was not necessarily the safest option.

The bike lanes are 1.8m wide with a red surface.

Main Roads WA stood by its design, with a spokesman saying the 60km/h speed limit was not regarded as high speed and was suitable for on-road bike lanes.

The lanes were 30cm wider than required by Austroads guidelines and were located to the left side of bus lanes to provide further separation from vehicles using the left lane.

But Mr Perkins said he would not cycle along the new lanes.

‘The high volume and speed of traffic makes that road unsafe for cyclists even though it meets all the current requirements,’ he said.

He said better options would be to separate bike paths from the road or create dual use paths that separate cyclists from cars.

The safety of cyclists was in the spotlight after two men were injured while riding on Canning Highway in South Perth on March 22.

Ascot cyclist Greg Wear, of the Belmont Bicycle User Group, said the new lanes were a big improvement.

‘It went from downright dangerous to much improved but it could always be better,’ he said.

He said cyclists would have varied views of the bike lanes but the lanes were most probably favoured by cyclists commuting to and from the city.

‘A lot of people would prefer to see paths separate from the highway; a dual path along the river,’ Mr Wear said.

Belmont chief executive Stuart Cole said the City was satisfied with the cycle lanes.