Three new cycleways could serve Sydney’s busiest cycling connections, provide safer access for thousands of people riding between the city and Sydney’s east, and further support the City of Sydney’s plans to revitalise Oxford Street.
The proposed connections include an innovative centre-running cycleway on Oxford Street that will allow bus lanes, parking, taxi ranks and loading zones to largely operate as they currently do, while providing a safe, fast and direct route for people riding.
The cycleways would run 1.7 kilometres from Taylor Square along Oxford Street, Liverpool and College Streets to the City Centre, and connect to the existing cycleway network at Bourke and Castlereagh streets.
Oxford Street is one of Sydney’s busiest bike routes, with over 2,000 bike trips every day. It also has the most reported bike crashes of any street in the City area, with around 10 per cent of riders currently resorting to riding on the footpath.
Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, said the City will consult local businesses, residents and bike riders on the proposed cycleways to provide a world-class transport connection.
“Cycling numbers have grown significantly over recent years, especially during COVID when many took to cycling for the first time,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“We want to continue to deliver an alternate safe transport option that ensures equitable access to our roads, increases safety and reduces footpath cycling.”
“These streets currently experience some of the heaviest bike traffic in our city, so providing separated bike lanes will have huge safety benefits, as well as improving urban amenity,” she said.
“The proposed cycleway will help reduce the impact of noise and pollution, provide a safe space for people to ride on the road, and encourage people to stop and enjoy local cafés, restaurants and local businesses.”
The project incorporates cycleways on three street sections:
- Oxford Street – 730 metres between Flinders Street and College Street, Surry Hills
- Liverpool Street – 300 metres between College Street and Castlereagh Street
- College Street – 700 metres between Liverpool Street and St Marys Road
The proposal includes centre running two-way cycleway on Oxford and Liverpool streets, and a two-way cycleway on the western side of College Street. The cycleways would be separated from traffic with easy to install medians and painted road markings.
The centre-running designs and use of easy-to-install separators mean the new cycleways can be installed rapidly and at a lower cost than traditional cycleways.
Transport for NSW would closely monitor the traffic and parking arrangements and take the necessary actions to ensure there are no major impacts on bus operations so that people could continue to return to work and access the city safely.
The cycleways network is supported by Committee for Sydney, which recently commissioned an Ipsos cycling survey. This poll found the majority of Sydneysiders (53 per cent) support new cycling lanes in the city.
Committee for Sydney CEO, Gabriel Metcalf, commented that the Life in Sydney poll also showed fewer than a quarter of people believe Sydney roads are currently safe for cycling.
“The results told us there is great untapped demand for cycling. That’s why we need to take designing roads for cycling seriously,” he said.
“Particularly important is making our roads safe for those of all ages and skill levels to cycle between their homes, workplaces, schools and universities.”
The City of Sydney will do a four-week community consultation on the three cycleways and a review of environmental factors for the project and report the results for Council to consider.