Bikes on the back of the Osprey ferry between Bayswater and Auckland’s CBD.
Cyclists are being turned away from an Auckland ferry, despite the sailing not being at full capacity.
Chris Burgess, a cyclist who takes the Fullers ferry between Bayswater and the CBD daily, said he saw the cyclists being turned away on Monday morning.
That followed a Thursday announcement over the ferry’s loudspeaker that the number of cyclists on board would be limited to a maximum of eight due to “customer complaints”.
But that posed a problem for cyclists, as there were usually about 15 on the ferry, he said.
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“There has been a growth of electric bikes because people are trying to be sustainable. I have seen an increase in cyclists commuting to work via the ferry.”
Burgess said one of the cyclists who was turned away had stopped to let “everyone else” on before himself.
“People from the boat were shouting to let him on as there was plenty of room, but the skippers kept driving.”
“There is plenty of room at peak times as only two-thirds of the ferry is ever full, taking into consideration everyone is sitting a seat apart because of social distancing.
“What is a 20-second inconvenience for other commuters is a huge problem for cyclists who want to live sustainably.”
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Burgess said either cyclists should continue to be allowed to leave their bikes on the bow, or two rows of seating could be taken out to make more room.
Fullers spokeswoman Chloe Ogilvie said there are health and safety reasons to limit the number of bikes on board.
“If there are many bikes then they can cover key access points and fire hydrants.”
The Osprey ferry, which does the Bayswater-CBD route, is one of the company’s smaller boats, she said.
“The reason people were turned away on Monday is that the ferry had reached approximated capacity.
“We are one of the few travel services that allow bikes, and we fully support bike transport.”
Ogilvie said the rules had not changed – rather, the skippers had recently been provided with “more guidance” on health and safety.
“This guidance has been around how to judge the [number] of bikes allowed on the ferry depending on its size.”
Auckland councillor Wayne Walker said he would have hoped that Fullers would be making “active provisions” for cyclists.
“They should be encouraging and providing for Auckland’s cyclists. Overseas buses have foldable bike racks. Although we do not have this, there are lots of things they can do.”