Bicycle groups calls for more government action

Bribie Island Bicycle Users Group president Bob Newell and wife Joyce.
Bribie Island Bicycle Users Group president Bob Newell and wife Joyce. Luke Simmonds

THE CONFLICT between cyclist and motorist, cyclist and pedestrian on the Bribie Island Bridge is very much still alive.

In 2015, the State Government constructed six new pedestrian passing bays in addition to the existing three, but Bribie Island Bicycle User Group member Joyce Newell says more needs to be done.

She believes the bridge needs even more passing bays or to widen the pathway, which is less than a metre across.

"Some of our members avoid the bridge. They prefer to meet for our ride on the other side,” she said.

"The big problem is the railing on the roadside is too high and catches the handle bars very quickly because it's so narrow.

"If you had a centre path on the bridge to show you where you can put the bicycle wheel, that would be a lot better.

"Another big problem is fishermen sit in the passing bays and you have to stop.”

Joyce said she sometimes rode along the road at night when fishermen were out in numbers, but that presented a whole new set of problems.

"If there's traffic on it, it's not fun,” she said.

"You might get an idiot driver who wants to swipe you - I get the odd call out of rude remarks, but I've never been injured.”

The Caboolture News recently received a letter from cyclist Matt (who wished to keep his last name anonymous), who said he'd be a rich man if he had a dollar for every time he'd been threatened by motorists crossing the bridge.

"Yelling abuse, beeping and swerving at cyclists only makes the situation less safe,” he said.

"I acknowledge that not all people who ride bicycles comply with the rules of the road - these people are called 'bike riders' and misrepresent the law- abiding 'cyclists' who want to enjoy their ride and respect the safety of all on the road.”

Despite the anecdotal evidence, in the past year there have been no injury-related crashes reported to police involving a cyclist on the bridge.

A spokeswoman from the Department of Transport and Main Roads said a study had identified a corridor for future duplication or replacement next to the existing bridge.

"The preferred corridor lies to the north of the existing bridge,” she said.

"Future funding for construction will be considered against other priorities across the state.”

Moreton Bay Regional Council can't comment on the road specifically because it's a state road, but a spokesman said the council was committed to growing cycling in the area.

"Council last financial year installed more than 20km of dedicated cycle lanes and signposted 10km of bicycle awareness zones, in addition to cycle lanes and shared paths installed as part of road and park upgrades,” he said.

"Council's website also contains handy links to familiarise yourself with cycling on both roads and paths, as well as tips.”

Visit www.moretonbay and search 'cycling' for information.

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