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Expert panel on cycle safety announced

Expert panel on cycle safety announced

The NZ Transport Agency has selected a group of ten New Zealand-based experts to develop recommendations for making the country’s roads safer for cycling.

The Transport Agency was asked to convene the panel in response to the findings of a coronial review of cycling safety in New Zealand, released in November last year by Coroner Gordon Matenga.

NZ Transport Agency Director of Road Safety Ernst Zollner said the agency had canvassed the views of a wide range of stakeholders with expertise in cycling and road safety as part of the process of establishing the panel.

“There is a huge amount of passion and a great depth of knowledge on cycling and cycle safety in New Zealand. We’re looking to harness that passion and knowledge to encourage cycling as a transport choice by making it safer. This panel is tasked with developing a comprehensive and practical set of recommendations for central and local government to achieve that.”

The panel is expected to meet for the first time next month and will aim to deliver its recommendations by the end of September.

Mr Zollner said the Transport Agency and other members of the National Road Safety Management Group would also continue existing work to improve the safety of cyclists in New Zealand by investing in separated cycle paths, improving the safety of roads and roadsides, making intersections safer, reducing vehicle speeds in urban areas to reduce the risks that motor vehicles can pose to pedestrians and cyclists and promoting safe cycling through a range of education programmes.

The Transport Agency recently launched a Share the Road education and advertising campaign designed to personalise and humanise people cycling so that motorists see beyond the bike. More information is available via  www.nzta.govt.nz/about/advertising/other-advertising/share-the-road.html

New Zealand Cycle Safety Panel – Profiles

Richard Leggat (Chair)


Richard is the Chair of Bike NZ and the New Zealand Cycle Trail and is a board member of Education NZ, SnowSports NZ, NZ Post and Tourism NZ.  Richard is an enthusiastic recreational cyclist and is actively involved in his children's sport. Following an economics degree Richard worked for apparel manufacturer Lane Walker Rudkin before switching into the finance sector and working as a share broker initially in Christchurch, followed by four years in London and then Auckland.

Sarah Ulmer


Sarah is the first New Zealander to win an Olympic cycling gold medal, which she won in the individual pursuit at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, setting a world record.  When she left Athens at the end of the Games, Ulmer held the Olympic title, the Olympic and world records, the Commonwealth Games title and the Commonwealth Games record for the 3000m individual pursuit.  In mid-2011, it was announced that she would be the official 'ambassador' for the New Zealand Cycle Trail.  In the 2005 New Year Honours, Ulmer was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to cycling. 

Marilyn Northcotte


Marilyn has more than twenty years of involvement in cycle skills training, originally in Canada (CANBike I and II, Cycling Freedom) and has also trained in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.  Marilyn has developed and delivered cycle skills and road safety programmes for adults and children in a variety of settings and regularly undertakes work for councils, cycle advocacy groups, schools, holiday programmes, Police and community groups, as well as offering onetoone training.  Marilyn heads up the regional cycle skills training programme Pedal Ready.

Mike Noon


Mike joined the Automobile Association in September 2005 as General Manager Motoring Affairs.  Mike started his career with Mobil Oil NZ where he held the position of Marketing and Communications Manager.  Immediately prior to joining the AA, Mike worked as a consultant specialising in tourism, issue management and communications.  Before that Mike worked with the Office of Tourism and Sport, and as its Director saw through the establishment of the Ministry of Tourism.  Road safety is a particularly important issue for the AA, and it has lobbied strongly on issues like young driver training, cell phones, alcohol and drugs and road engineering.

Dr Hamish Mackie


Hamish is a human factors specialist with seventeen years of research and consultancy experience in a range of areas where the interaction between people, their surrounding environments and the things they use are important. Over the past eight years Hamish has focused on self-explaining roads, high risk intersections, school transport and other areas where a ‘human-centred’ perspective is essential.

Simon Kennett


Originally a power systems engineering officer, Simon helped to found ‘Kennett Brothers Ltd’ in 1993, a business devoted to cycling books, event management, trail design and construction, and strategy development. In 2004 he co-wrote and published ‘RIDE’ – a history of cycling in New Zealand. In 2007/08 he coordinated the Cycling Advocates’ Network networking project under contract to NZTA. Since 2009 Simon has been the Active Transport and Road Safety Coordinator at Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Dr Alexandra Macmillan


Alex is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health at the University of Otago's Department of Preventive and Social Medicine. She also holds an honorary senior research position at the Bartlett - University College London's global faculty of the built environment. She trained in Medicine and is a Public Health Physician. Alex's teaching and research focuses on the links between urban environments, sustainability and health. Her PhD included futures modelling of specific policies to successfully increase commuter cycling in Auckland. In London, she extended this work to understand the factors influencing trends in cycling in London and Dutch cities.

Professor Alistair Woodward


Alistair is Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His first degree was in medicine and he undertook his postgraduate training in public health in the UK. He has a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Adelaide, and 30 years’ experience in road safety and injury research. He has studied the epidemiology of head injury, the effectiveness of helmets for cyclists, the relation between vehicle speed and injury severity, the effects on health and the environment of increasing walking and cycling, and the health impacts of transport policy. He initiated the Taupo bicycle study, which has followed 2,600 cyclists for eight years to learn about factors that promote and inhibit everyday cycling, including injury.

Axel Wilke


Axel holds an ME (Civil) from Canterbury University and has been active as a traffic engineer and transport planner in New Zealand since 1998. He specialises in urban traffic engineering, traffic signals, road safety, intersection design & modelling and industry training. He is a director of ViaStrada Limited, a traffic and transportation consultancy specialising in sustainable transport based in Christchurch. Clients of ViaStrada are mostly road controlling authorities in New Zealand, but some work (mostly research) is undertaken for Australian clients, for example Austroads. Axel instigated professional industry training, and the Fundamentals of Planning and Design for Cycling workshop has been taught since 2003, which is part of the curriculum at Canterbury University. Advanced courses were added later, and he has taught nearly 1,000 attendees in total. 

Dr Glen Koorey


Glen is a Senior Lecturer in Transportation Engineering at the University of Canterbury. He has a particular interest in the areas of road safety and sustainable transport, including speed management and planning & design for cycling. Glen is a Member of the Bicycle Transportation Research Committee of the US Transportation Research Board and over the past 15 years has investigated many aspects of cycling safety in New Zealand. His wide-ranging research and consulting experience also includes sustainable transportation policies, planning & design for walking, crash data analysis, and the design and operation of rural highways.


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