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Lack of consultation for Castlereagh Street ‘part time’ Cycleway

Artist's impression of the original Castlereagh St cycleway

Following weeks of seeking information from both Minister Gay’s and Minister Berejiklian’s offices, Bicycle NSW is pleased to see our advocacy activity is reaching State Parliament.

Important questions were raised in Parliament yesterday by The Hon. Penny Sharpe MLC, Shadow Minister for Transport, as the community seeks understanding of the new concept of a contraflow ‘part time’ cycleway on the one way Castlereagh Street. Bicycle NSW asked for transparency and we continue to request details on how a ‘peak hour’ cycleway operating between 6am-10am and 3pm-8pm on weekdays, and 6am-10am on weekends, with loading zones in place outside these times can provide efficiency and safety for everyone accessing the CBD.

Construction of the cycleways was due to commence July 2014 for completion September 2015, however nothing has commenced nor does it seem imminent. Back in March the City of Sydney Environment Committee confirmed that the Access Strategy represented an opportunity to construct two major cycleways before construction of the Sydney Light Rail Project. If this opportunity was missed, it reported it may not be possible to commence construction of the cycleways until after the Sydney Light Rail Project and as late as 2020. So will or wont Sydney be mobilised with the agreed integrated network of cycleways?

The Roads Minister is proposing to trial the peak hour (“part time”) bike path concept for six months with an education program to ensure cyclists, local businesses and the delivery industry are aware of these unusual and unfamiliar access arrangements. Justification for the radical change has been presented as restoring loading zones including multi-vehicle spaces between King Street and Liverpool Street. Bicycle NSW is seeking to understand exactly who this compromise is being made for and the details around the concept and decision process in order to confirm is this is an appropriate response and the best solution.
Bicycle NSW also questions the claim that the trial is the outcome of extensive consultation with local businesses, residents, cyclists and the commercial delivery industry. Despite working with Transport for NSW and the CBD Alliance extensively, Bicycle NSW was not consulted on this significant change.

“We respect the need for compromise and alternative design solutions to deliver access and mobility for all transport modes. Our concerns and priorities in regards to the Castlereagh Street Cycleway are safety, proof of concept and integrity of process,” says Sophie Bartho, Bicycle NSW Communications Director.

The ‘discussions with stakeholders’, referred to by Minister Gay, we have to assume were those back in July regarding the original dedicated cycleway because Bicycle NSW is unaware of any consultation about the ‘part time’ concept, and both Minister Gay and Minister Berejiklian have yet to reveal the details of the design, an appropriate safety audit and demonstrate the recent consultation.

We ask everyone (cyclists, motorists, pedestrians, heavy vehicle operators) to continue to demand the State Government deliver their Sydney City Centre Access Strategy, including the “better connected network of separated cycleways” that the State Government recognised “will improve safety for everyone in the CBD – cyclists, pedestrians and motorists”.


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