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Christchurch motorists riled up over new bike, bus lanes but council says 'they're not stuck in traffic - they are the traffic'

Some Christchurch motorists are riled up over a network of new bike and bus lanes developed as part of of the city's rebuild, saying they're making it more difficult for drivers.

Christchurch has seen an average 15 to 20 per cent boost in cyclists, with tens of thousands of trips recorded across the city in the last week. 

"We've got a long way to go to get to the Netherlands and Denmark and that, but actually compared to a lot of European cities Christchurch is starting to get in the same space actually," said Glen Koorey, a traffic engineer.

But it's sharing the space that's got some motorists annoyed. 

Christchurch City Councillor Deon Swiggs says people should have a choice of what they want to use to get to work and, "we can't make it really, really difficult for those people to get around our city".

The council's transport manager, Mike Davidson, says motorists are not stuck in traffic - they are the traffic. 

"And this is half the reason why we're trying to actually put in all this network of cycleways."

It's an issue facing all New Zealand's major cities converting to greener modes of transport.

But will it means cars have to give way? 

"New Zealand as a whole has been decades investing in transport infrastructure that really is just focused on vehicles. And so I guess we're just trying to balance that," Mr Davidson said.

It's a vision of the future which means sharing is something motorists will have to get used to.

Council officials are taking steps to make sure drivers aren’t lost in the move to greener transport.

They say although efforts are being made to balance the infrastructure between cars and other travel options, motorists will still be able to get around the city without interruption.

Cycling is up 20 per cent in the Garden City, but some drivers say they are being inconvenienced because of it. Source: 1 NEWS