TV's Noel Edmonds opposes a New Zealand cycle trail, saying it isn't safe

After refusing to let the trail pass through his land, the TV star has spoken out for a second time against the Great Taste Trail, this time quoting cyclist safety

Clock11:10, Saturday 25th November 2023
Noel Edmonds opposes the cycle trail that passes his restaurant

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images, Pixabay

Noel Edmonds opposes the cycle trail that passes his restaurant

British TV star Noel Edmonds has released a video criticising a cycling trail that passes his restaurant, River Haven, saying it isn't safe for cyclists, and calling for the speed limit on the adjoining road to be reduced.

In a video released on the restaurant's YouTube channel, River Haven TV, Edmonds outlines a number of safety concerns for cyclists using the Tasman Great Taste Trail, a 175km trail around Nelson Tasman, New Zealand.

Edmonds says the section of trail that passes the area his restaurant is in is fundamentally flawed because instead of being built on the quiet side of the river, it's been built on the other side, beside a fast road.

He gives a number of reasons that the trail is unsafe. It sits next to a fast-moving road; it crosses a narrow bridge on which there isn't enough room for cyclists and drivers to pass one another; it has a poorly considered road height that means cyclists would get sprayed by traffic on wet days.

"Is that cycling heaven?" asks Edmonds. "I don't think so."

Edmonds will campaign for a reduced speed limit

To improve the situation, Edmonds says he is going to reduce the speed of the road:

"So what am I going to do about it? Well, I'm going to get the speed reduced on this road, because I've talked to people who live in the area and they've tried for decades - decades - to get the speed past the school reduced from 100kph, hopefully down to 60, maybe 50."

"We have to look after cyclists, but you know what worries me more? We gotta look after the children at the school. So. I'm going to succeed. I'm going to get the speed limit reduced, and hopefully, cyclists will be safer on this road."

Edmonds has resisted this cycle trail before

It's a noble cause, but this is not the first time Edmonds has raised an issue with the trail. It was reported last month that the star delivered a tirade of abuse at cycle trail manager, Belinda Crisp, banning her from his restaurant, and calling her "the enemy". Crisp had visited to discuss the possibility that the trail might go through Edmonds' land, rather than alongside the road.

Edmonds claims the dispute was in fact about what he perceived as the misuse of taxpayer funds. When asked about the incident, Edmonds told local news Stuff, "She has set herself against people who pay her taxes."

He added:

"I totally side with Kiwis who think that spending taxpayers’ money, millions of it, on a cycle path is possibly an inappropriate use of public funds."

His new opposition to the trail, this time coming from the perspective of cyclists ("I'm a very keen cyclist myself", Edmonds declares in the video) is another attempt to draw up opposition to the trail.

Indeed, his concern about taxpayer funds surfaces in the video, although there is no mention of the plan for the trail to pass through his land:

"There are a lot of people who are finding life at the moment quite tough, financially, who will never ride a bike, who go, 'Why am I paying for all this?'"

Either way, Edmonds' new, more constructive opposition to the trail is being embraced by local people, who have been trying to make the road safer for years. Indeed, cycle trail manager Belinda Crisp is glad to have Edmonds on-side, telling local news Stuff,

"The Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust is pleased that Noel Edmonds is supporting them, along with the Ngātīmoti School and the Motueka Valley Association, in their long-time advocacy work to have the speed limit reduced along sections of the Motueka Valley Highway."

Related Content

Link to AusCycling calls for greater consistency in helmet laws in Australia
The accepted helmet standards don't currently match local state and territory laws in Australia

AusCycling calls for greater consistency in helmet laws in Australia

Federal government has approved more helmet standards for sale, but many of them can’t be legally used according to state laws

Clock
Link to Two bike parking places per apartment for new buildings in the EU
Underground bike storage in Gent, Belgium

Two bike parking places per apartment for new buildings in the EU

New EU rules say that residential and non-residential buildings must have a minimum amount of bicycle parking

Clock
Link to Number of e-bike thefts in UK doubles in a year but decreases for bikes overall
A wheel left from a stolen bicycle

Number of e-bike thefts in UK doubles in a year but decreases for bikes overall

There has been a sharp rise in the number of e-bike thefts, but the overall figure for bikes is trending down

Clock
Link to Why are cyclists often banned from public areas? - The GCN Show
unknown

Why are cyclists often banned from public areas? - The GCN Show

From bike paths being closed to cyclists being barred from pedestrianised areas, Dan Lloyd and Si Richardson consider the dehumanisation of those on two wheels

Clock
Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox