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New cycleway no longer a bridge too far

A new dedicated cycleway linking the city and the Sydney Harbour Bridge will boost safety and access for thousands of people who ride across the harbour.

The City of Sydney is working with Roads and Maritime Services on the project to support more people riding, as well as improve safety for people walking in the city.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Harbour Bridge services tens of thousands of commuters on multiple transport modes every day and that more people riding safely will benefit everyone.

“Two thousand trips by bike already take place across our iconic Harbour Bridge each day, freeing up space on public transport and on congested roads for those who need to drive,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Conditions for riders will greatly improve with this smoother, safer and more accessible connection, enabling more people to feel safe riding in Sydney.”

On the southern approach to the Harbour Bridge people riding bikes currently share space with people walking alongside the Bradfield Highway, and a steep and narrow bridge over the Cahill Expressway to Fort Street.

The project will give both their own space, with a dedicated cycle path from Kent Street to the Harbour Bridge.

The steep ramp to the narrow bridge over the Cahill Expressway will be replaced with a new, wider bridge and a spiral approach ramp with improved gradients and sightlines, making the Harbour Bridge more accessible to riders of all ages and abilities.

The City initiated a feasibility study and design concept for the proposal and will continue to contribute to the design of the connection that will be funded and built by Roads and Maritime.

The Lord Mayor said the Harbour Bridge plans would improve a key piece of Sydney’s transport network.

“When this link is complete you will be able to ride from the north end of the bridge, through the city, all the way to Central Station and beyond on dedicated cycleways without traffic,” the Lord Mayor said.

“From reduced congestion and safer bicycle journeys to improvements in health, funding active transport infrastructure represents an excellent return on investment and we’re delighted to be working with Roads and Maritime on this important connection.”

The number of trips by bike across the bridge has more than doubled in the period between 2008 and 2016 according to Roads and Maritime data.

City of Sydney historian Laila Ellmoos said bikes have played a role throughout the history of the bridge.

“There have always been bicycles on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. More than 300 people pedalled from Bendigo in Victoria – nearly 1,000 kilometres – for the bridge opening day celebrations in 1932,” Ms Ellmoos said.

“Originally people on bikes could ride on the main deck of the bridge. As Sydney’s traffic grew, bicycles were moved in 1972 to their own path on the western side of the bridge, and this is still in use today.”

Roads and Maritime will invite the public to have their say on the plans for the southern end of the bridge in late 2017. Roads and Maritime is also developing a proposal to provide step-free access for cyclists at the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The options report will be displayed for public consultation in late 2017.

Source: City of Sydney

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