Wellington cyclists form 'people-protected' cycle lane through the city in protest

Facebook/ Cycle Aware Wellington
Facebook/ Cycle Aware Wellington

Wellington cyclists have taken safety into their own hands, creating a "people-protected" cycle lane in the heart of the city.

Frustrated with slow council progress on the construction of protected cycle ways, 45 protesters gathered on Featherston Street on Wednesday morning.

Holding signs, they formed a human chain between the clearway and the road, and yelled at cyclists to come into the "protected" lane as they road towards the city centre.

The clearway was labeled "Bike lane" with chalk.

The protestors remained in place from 7.45am to 8.30am - peak rush hour for cars and cyclists.

"We love the protected bike lanes Wellington City Council has built, but progress is far too slow," said Cycling Action Network's project manager Patrick Johnson in a statement on Wednesday.

"So we're taking action into our own hands. If the city won't protect us, we'll protect our own," he continued.

Morgan estimates around 250 cyclists rode past the barrier during the protest.

"[The council] has made some good progress on Hutt Road and Oriental Bay and in Kilbirnie but there are almost no bike lanes in the CBD. We're fed up. We need protection," Morgan told Stuff.

"There are some paint-on bike lanes in the city - but paint is not protection. People on bikes deserve the protection of some kind of barriers or posts to separate them from fast moving traffic."

City councilor Sarah Free says cyclists were within their rights to protest, but the council has made great progress.

"I've been in this role nearly three years," she told Stuff.

"I stand by our record; we haven't been idle in that time."