Making cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice is a key priority for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
View research conducted to improve the safety of all road users and to encourage more people to get about by bike.
The AA and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are jointly funding research, beginning in February 2017, into ways to make intersections safer and more comfortable for cyclists and motorists. A pilot study will begin in February 2017.
This innovative research will pilot a new methodology that will take video footage at peak hours from four urban intersections – two each in Wellington and Auckland. They will be intersections with high numbers of cyclists and vehicle movements so that the number of interactions is maximised.
By analysing the interactions we can start to better understand how to educate motorists and cyclists, and design intersections to make them safer and more comfortable for all users.Close
The NZ Transport Agency conducted an survey in 2018 to understand the experiences of people cycle touring in New Zealand. The information is used to help us plan investment to improve cycle tourists’ experiences.
Cycle touring and bike-packing survey 2018 report [PDF, 3.9 MB]
You can also find maps on this page via www.nzta.govt.nz/cyletouring:
The NZ Transport Agency commissioned Empathy to help better understand the causes of bikelash.
Empathy utilised a human-centred design process, engaging in in-depth conversations to gather insights from urban New Zealand communities . Through this process they identified opportunities to help shape engagement planning and the approach local councils take to cycleway projects.
This report outlines Empathy’s findings and introduces high-level recommendations for the Transport Agency and local councils to explore.
View the full report, conducted by Empathy [PDF, 9.1 MB]Close
The NZ Transport Agency commissioned Empathy to help better understand how to promote adult cycle skills training courses and make them more appealing.
Adult cycle skills training is just one of several initiatives to encourage more people into riding. The NZ Transport Agency already knows a lot about people’s barriers to cycling through their research into Urban New Zealanders attitudes and perceptions of cycling [PDF, 628 KB]. In this project, we sought to learn about what holds adults back from seeking and participating in bike skills training.
This report contains evidence-based recommendations for ways to make adult cycle skills more targeted, better promoted, and more appealing.
View the full report, conducted by Empathy [PDF, 5.3 MB]Close
The NZ Transport Agency commissioned ViaStrada to research standards and safety for low -powered vehicles (LPVs) worldwide.
This research report presents a review of overseas legislation, technology trends, market and safety analyses for low-powered, low-speed vehicles.
These vehicles include electric bicycles, mobility scooters, self-balancing devices and other personal mobility or wheeled recreational devices.
Current New Zealand LPV legislation is based only on motor power and how certain LPVs may be used. In all other countries reviewed, top motor-assisted speed is regulated.
The report assesses various regulatory and non-regulatory options for improving safety while supporting technological innovation and mode choice options in New Zealand.
View the full report, conducted by ViaStrada(external link)Close
The NZ Transport Agency engaged Mackie Research to investigate the development and application of a cycling safety system model preparing New Zealanders for utility cycling.
Making urban cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice is now a NZ Transport Agency strategic priority. Currently, road trauma for cycling is lower than other modes; however, unless a safer system for cyclists is developed, including more effective cycling education, an increase in road trauma is likely with increased investment and promotion.
The research first identified key cycle safety interventions through the development and application of a cycling safety system model. The development of this model, a first
for New Zealand, was informed by contemporary models of crash causation, which examined distal and proximal crash causation factors. Key findings were the need for a strong mandate and strategic direction for cycling, and improved systems to provide for cyclists in road design.
Second, the report provides guidance on how best to prepare New Zealanders for utility cycling, drawing on key literature and engagement with stakeholders and end users. The need for consistent and comprehensive approaches, involving a variety of initiatives and touch points over the course of people’s lives, were indicated.
Together, these two distinctly different, yet complementary, pieces of work provide actionable
recommendations that can improve safety for cyclists and facilitate increased cycling uptake.
View the full report, conducted by Mackie Research(external link)Close
The national cycling programme recently conducted a survey of attitudes to and perceptions of cycling among people who live in our main urban centres, to help track progress toward our goal to make cycling a safer and more attractive transport option.
The research undertaken found information that confirms significant customer demand for the choice to cycle, and for better cycling networks to make cycling a much safer and more attractive choice than it is now. The research also found the many kiwis already own or have access to bikes and use them to get about town.
Understanding attitudes and perceptions of cycling and walking reportsClose
We carried out this research to help us better understand attitudes of people when driving, walking and cycling towards one another on the road. We also examined some of the behaviours outlined in the road code/code for cyclists that are important to keep people on bikes safe on New Zealand’s’ roads. This work is intended to inform our education and advertising campaigns.
The link below is the report and an infographic which sums up the main national findings.
Full report – Encouraging behaviour change between cyclists and motorist [PDF, 3.1 MB]
Share the road infographic [PDF, 351 KB]Close
To reduce the occurrence or extent of ‘sign forests’ on paths for walking and cycling, a trial of using pavement markings only (ie to replace the current signage requirements) on shared paths at transitions to exclusive cycle paths and / or footpaths has been undertaken.
Two localities are participating in the trial – Auckland and Christchurch. Whilst following the general requirements for the markings to be used, as outlined in the Gazette notice, each locality has adopted slightly different variations, based on their specific site contexts and historical marking specifications. The standard pedestrian and cycle symbols, as specified by the Traffic Control Devices rule have been used, with Auckland opting to not use elongated bicycle symbols and placing the pedestrian and cycle symbols side by side, whereas Christchurch used elongated cycle symbols and the pedestrian symbol above the cycle symbol.
Auckland Transport and Christchurch City Council – Shared path signage trial report [PDF, 3.2 MB]Close
Three investigative research projects have been completed. They are
The action plan outlines the work we are doing to deliver on the Cycling Safety Panel recommendations.
The NZ Transport Agency engaged Opus Research to investigate the feasibility and possible implications of introducing mandatory minimum overtaking gaps for cyclists, together with a behaviour change programme encouraging motorists to give a safe overtaking gap when passing people on bikes.
The trialling of mandatory minimum overtaking distances for motor vehicles overtaking cyclists was a key recommendation of the New Zealand Cycle Safety Panel to develop practical and innovative recommendations for how central and local government can work together to make cycling a safer transport option for all road users.
The Opus research will help to inform decisions on whether to proceed with a trial of mandatory minimum overtaking distances. This investigation will increase our understanding of what safe passing distances are, and how they could be trialled.
Download the full report, conducted by Opus Research [PDF, 4 MB]Close
As part of a wider review of cycling-related road user rules, the NZ Transport Agency engaged Abley Transportation Consultants and Mackie Research to undertake research to support potential options for possible footpath cycling law changes.
Many younger cyclists do not know it is illegal to ride on the footpath and almost all cyclists will use the footpath, to a greater or lesser extent, often as the only feasible option in response to road environments that seem unsafe. There are risks however associated with footpath cycling for both pedestrians and cyclists. With the current laws, cycle skills trainers and others cannot openly reinforce safe footpath cycling. In addition, there is no technical basis for the current footpath cycling rule, which is based on wheel diameter. For many people, it is unclear how the rule should be applied.
The goal of the research was not to prescribe new footpath rules but rather to outline the considerations and evidence for footpath cycling rule options.
Download the full report, conducted by Abley Transportation Consultants and Mackie Research [PDF, 2.4 MB]
Download the Footpath Cycling – Rule Options Research Addendum to Report (November 2016) [PDF, 766 KB]Close
The NZ Transport Agency engaged MWH and ViaStrada to investigate options for amendments to several give-way related road user rules.
Around half of all urban cycling injuries occur at intersections. Providing safe and convenient cycling infrastructure through intersections can be challenging. The Transport Agency commissioned research into several rules affecting cycling and pedestrian flow through intersections. This complements the Transport Agency’s development of network design guidance.
The research, which will be used to inform policy advice regarding potential rule changes, investigated the likely impacts of:
Download the full report, conducted by MWH and ViaStrada [PDF, 3 MB]Close
Research conducted by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency:
This study explores the patterns of cycle use and collisions among adults and school students in Christchurch, New Zealand. Reporting rates for all cycle collisions are obtained, including those which do not involve motor vehicles. From the results of the survey recommendations are made to improve the safety of cyclists in the city.Close
This study was an investigation to see whether the process of cycle audit and cycle review developed by the Institution of Highways and Transportation in the United Kingdom should be introduced in New Zealand. The researchers interviewed traffic engineers and planners, road safety coordinators and cycle officers in nine local authorities, as well as cycle advocates, regional authority staff and Transit New Zealand staff.Close
Research carried out in 2001 examined the causes of cycle crashes on roads, footpaths, and cycle ways throughout New Zealand, through a survey of injured cyclists. Crashes due to impact with a moving motor vehicle were excluded, as the emphasis was on the role of road features in these crashes.Close
This report summarises research undertaken in Christchurch, New Zealand, between October 2001 and May 2002, to evaluate automatic bicycle counting technologies. A literature review and consultation with key staff in road controlling authorities were undertaken to select the equipment to test.Close
Between 2002–2004 a four-part research programme was undertaken to identify hazards to cyclists from features of the road network that are designed to benefit motorists.Close
This report describes research undertaken for Land Transport New Zealand on walking and cycling strategies. The study was carried out between August 2004 and August 2005. All (36) known New Zealand strategies publicly available at the end of 2004 were reviewed, plus a selection (8) of international strategies.Close
Multi-lane roundabouts are typically viewed by cyclists as one of the most hazardous types of intersections to negotiate and police crash statistics bear this out. For the purposes of this research, the definition of a ‘multi-lane roundabout’ is that of a roundabout that accommodates more than one lane of traffic on the circulating carriageway.Close
In this research, carried out between 2002 and 2004, accident rates for cyclists and pedestrians were investigated and interviews carried out with casualties.Close
In 2003, Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) and the Cancer Society of New Zealand commissioned a major social marketing survey to segment adult New Zealanders in terms of physical activity and healthy eating habits. The questionnaire included several transport-related questions. The resulting ‘Obstacles to Action’ database contains responses from over 8000 people aged 16 or over.Close
A cycle train is similar in approach to the ‘walking school bus’ – adult volunteer ‘conductors’ cycle along a set route to school, collecting children from designated ‘train stops’ along the way. They are well established in Belgium and are beginning to appear in the United Kingdom. Previous research in New Zealand found a high level of interest in the cycle train concept, leading us to design and conduct a trial for implementing cycle train networks here.Close
This research project compared cycle traffic flows after facilities have been built with predictions and with cycle traffic flows before construction. The aim of the project was to develop a tool to estimate demand for new facilities.Close
This report seeks to provide a per-kilometre value for the health benefits of active transport modes (such as walking and cycling) that is compatible with the Land Transport New Zealand Economic Evaluation Manual Volume 2 (EEM2).Close
Transport modes such as walking and cycling, including cycling to school, could play a key role in combating obesity, climate change and traffic congestion as well as restoring ‘social capital’ within communities. The objective of this research was to identify the specific barriers to school students cycling to school for six intermediate schools and recommend interventions that would be effective, acceptable to parents and schools, and favourable to school students for each of the schools.Close
Cycling is a sustainable mode of travel and an alternative to motor vehicle trips, particularly for shorter trips. However, the risk of crashing while cycling is typically higher than while travelling in a motor vehicle. To create a safer environment for cyclists, traffic engineers and transport planners can select a number of safety countermeasures. These include changes to the road layout, such as reducing traffic volumes and speeds; installing cycling lanes and paths; and conducting enforcement and education programmes focused on drivers and cyclists.Close
The aim of the Bike Now research project was to explore specific actions that could be undertaken in the workplace to encourage people to take up (and continue) cycling to work.Close
The integration of cycling and public transport (cycle-PT) can provide additional transport modal choice and flexibility in the use of existing public transport and also increase cycling trips and transit patronage. A model was developed for forecasting demand for bike racks on board public transport and secure storage at stations and terminals in different contexts and for different public transport modes.Close
Cycling for transport in New Zealand is a minority activity, yet the recreational cycling market is growing. The car is the most popular choice of travel mode by far. There is a clear desire to encourage more practical cycling in New Zealand, but limited understanding of who will be the next practical cyclists and how to encourage them. This research, from July 2008 to June 2010, applied the affective design methodology to the goal of increasing practical cycling in New Zealand.Close
This research used video surveillance of 1245 cyclists in New Zealand at pinch points to determine the relationship between the remaining lane or shoulder width and the likelihood of cyclists traversing the edge line into the motorised vehicle stream.Close
SPARC's Active New Zealand Survey (ANZS) is a high-quality nationwide survey of over 4000 adults collected through face-to-face interviews over 12 months in 2007/08. Although collected mainly to measure levels of sport/recreation activity and to quantify physical activity in general, it includes data of interest to the transport sector on walking and cycling.Close
This research investigated a method for collecting data relating to walk, cycle and public transport trips to land-use activities.Close
This research, which was conducted from July 2008 to January 2010, investigated what type of cycling infrastructure would encourage 'new cyclists' (ie people who either do not currently cycle at all, or people who do not currently cycle for utilitarian trips) to use cycling as their mode of transport for daily activities in New Zealand.Close
This purpose of this project is to assess the comparative risk associated with exposure to traffic pollution when travelling via different transport modes in New Zealand cities.Close
The C-roundabout (cyclist roundabout) is a new multi-lane roundabout design (developed as part of a 2006 Land Transport NZ research project Improved multi-lane roundabout designs for cyclists) that aims to improve the safety of cyclists at multi-lane roundabouts and make multi-lane roundabouts more cyclist-friendly.Close
This research project developed an evaluation framework for estimating the cost-benefit analysis of integrating public transport (PT) with walking and cycling.Close
This study aimed to determine how to cost-effectively improve safety for people who cycle on low-volume rural roads in New Zealand.Close
This research report identifies key cycle safety interventions through the development and application of a cycling safety system model. It also provides guidance on how best to prepare New Zealanders for utility cycling, drawing on key literature and engagement with stakeholders and end users.Close
This report examines cyclists’ perceptions of cycle infrastructure levels of service and proposes an assessment methodology for evaluating the level of service provided by cycling facilities.Close
This research set out to show how the transport sector contributes to better living conditions for all New Zealand citizens through investment in related capital.
Maximum wellbeing benefits will be achieved by ensuring that everyone has access to high quality, low-carbon, transport systems that promote health and social connection and generate high levels of travel satisfaction. The built environment, especially urban density, has a significant impact on the viability of active and public transport systems.Close
The performance of the transport network can be improved by anticipating the impacts of new micro-mobility technologies and how the introduction of new modes may be managed to optimise benefits.
In this research transport modelling, based on several assumptions about micro-mobility, suggested higher usage of shared paths and separated cycle facilities than for forecasts of push-bikes alone. The growth in availability and ownership of micro-mobility may also lead to increase in public transport patronage as a result of first mile/last mile micro-mobility use.Close
This research was undertaken to help inform network planning for walking or cycling which is commonly undertaken with limited evidence or unreliable data.
The research produced a stocktake and assessment of methodologies for estimating latent demand for walking and cycling and a ‘decision tree’ that can be used to identify the most appropriate modelling approach, or approaches.Close
Research notes are the output of research generally undertaken within short timeframes in response to a specific issue or development and the outputs are not independently peer reviewed.
The research aimed to identify and recommend designs of quick build protective measures for cycleways for introduction in Aotearoa New Zealand. The pros and cons of different forms of infrastructure for safe, quick build cycleways were laid out.Close