|Two new separated cycleways through the heart of Sydney opened this week, providing for the first time a safe 2.5-kilometre link from Central Station to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The City of Sydney-funded Castlereagh and Liverpool Street cycleways were built and fast-tracked by the NSW Government to ensure their completion ahead of light rail construction.
The new links are an important step towards creating a safe network of cycleways through central Sydney, as well as supporting local business and easing pressure on already congested roads.
“Around 7,000 people ride to work in the Sydney city centre each day – the equivalent of 116 full buses or seven Sydney trains,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“Getting people on their bikes takes pressure off public transport and creates more space on the roads for those who need to drive.”
“The new Liverpool and Castlereagh Street separated cycleways are important pieces of the puzzle, providing safe links to help new and existing riders through the city centre.
“Sydneysiders have told us they want more connected bike routes and Transport for NSW research shows 70 per cent of people would commute by bike if it’s made safer and more convenient.”
“It’s now crucial we complete the connected bike network in the NSW Government’s City Centre Access Strategy to make riding a more accessible transport option along with new light rail, bus changes and improvements for people walking.”
Committee for Sydney CEO, Dr Tim Williams, welcomed the essential new infrastructure and said cycling was key to keeping Sydney moving.
“Not only is cycling an increasingly popular way to commute, it’s also at the heart of the economic success of global cities,” Mr Williams said.
“There are more than 70 developments underway in Sydney to ensure we maintain and enhance our status as a global city. This enormous level of construction will require a major shift from cars to public transport and cycling and walking in order to keep our city moving.”
The NSW Government’s Strategic Cycleway Network includes almost eight kilometres of separated cycleways through the city centre. Around 3.4 kilometres of separated cycleway priority routes have already been built through the city centre and planning is underway for further key connections.
These cycleways will help the NSW Government meet its target of doubling cycling trips of up to 10 kilometres in Greater Sydney by 2016.
“You only need to look to London, New York and Paris to see how cycling infrastructure is dramatically changing the way people move and improving public health,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Road congestion already costs our economy more than $5 billion each year, and that’s expected to climb to $8 billion by 2020. By increasing cycling, we can accommodate growth without creating more congestion on our roads or further crowding on public transport.
“Cycling has grown exponentially in recent years as a way for people to commute to work, and many buildings and workplaces are supporting the trend by providing facilities such as lockers, showers and bike parking.”