Paul Stephenson suffered bruising, cuts and grazes after hitting a blackspot on Rocks Rd just over a week ago. Photo: Supplied.

Cyclist tests legal waters over Rocks Rd black spot


Paul Stephenson was riding down Rocks Rd just over a week ago when he hit a puddle of slimy silt and went flying.

“As soon as I hit it I did a superman down the road.”

He ended up with bruising, cuts and grazes all over his body.

But he hasn’t been the only one to fall foul on Rocks Rd as a result of the puddle. The Nelson Weekly last week reported on two other cyclists who have broken bones after riding through the it. A police officer also slipped over after he went to help another cyclist who had fallen over in it.

Kirsten Boswijk rode through the spot last September. She slid off her bike and broke her pelvis. Another cyclist slipped over, breaking several ribs and their shoulder.

“It’s just crap,” says Paul after he learned about all the other incidents.

“NZTA have had all this time to sort it out and they have done nothing.”

Paul says he is considering exploring legal options and has fears that someone else might not be so lucky. After last week’s storm, NZTA has also diverted cycling traffic into the puddle because the cycle path has been washed away.

“I’m wondering how many people have come off and haven’t reported it,” Paul says. “I couldn’t believe how well it took me out. It’s like black ice.”

He wants to know of anyone else who might be interested in taking legal action against the agency. NZTA did put up a “slippery” sign, however, this was 150 metres away from the puddle. The agency says that the refurbishment of Rocks Rd, planned to start later this week, will help solve the problem.

“Drainage works along Rocks Rd will continue as planned, as will cliff works,” says a NZTA spokesperson.

“The road has been swept. The area has suffered considerable damage and we ask for people’s patience and understanding while repairs and improvement works are done.”

This work will see the area concerned re-laid to new levels, improved drainage and the roadway resurfaced. The spokesperson says that the location of the warning signage is being reviewed, and if needed it will be moved.

“Updates will be posted on as we know more.” 

The spokesperson says, as well as Rocks Rd, cyclists can also use Waimea Rd to travel between Nelson and Richmond.

Have you been affected by the black spot? Email [email protected]