The NSW Government continues to disappoint bike riders by delaying plans to replace the Sydney Harbour Bridge steps for at least another two years.
Roads Minister Melinda Pavy announced at a press conference that there were “some big challenges” to the project including Milsons Point residents who fear the ramp will detract from their views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and impinge on nearby Bradfield Park.
The announcement of a two-year delay to the project comes after years of campaigning by local cycling groups and community consultation on designs for a ramp late last year.
It also comes more than a year after Roads Minister Melinda Pavey MP confirmed plans for cycle-friendly upgrades, saying that the cycleway “is also a vital commuter link for Sydneysiders including cyclists enjoying the view of the harbour or commuting to and from work.”
Former Roads Minister Duncan Gay in August 2016 confirmed funding as part of $35 million in upgrades.
Bicycle Network supported the design for a much-needed ramp that would drastically improve access for not only the 2000+ people who use the cycleway daily, but for pedestrians, parents with prams and the mobility impaired.
Instead, the government has decided to prioritise construction of lifts at either end of the bridge, the cost of which has blown out to about $15 million, from $10 million.
North Sydney Councillor Gibson told the Sydney Morning Herald residents preferred construction of a lift for cyclists.
Bicycle Network NSW spokesperson Bastien Wallace said that any suggestion that bike riders should use the lift is ridiculous.
“It’s extremely disappointing that progress on Sydney Harbour Bridge ramp – a vital link in Sydney’s bike network – has come to a crawl as slow as the traffic that crosses it each day,”
“A ramp is the obvious solution. A lift for bike riders is ridiculous – it’s one of Sydney’s busiest bike routes.
Take action: Stop the the delay - build the ramp
With congestion and physical inactivity expected to cost the NSW economy billions, it's ridiculous that the government is actively making it harder people to ride bikes.
A two-year delay to a vital link simply isn't good enough. Until we see solid timelines or a shovel in the ground, we will continue to campaign for the removal of the Sydney Harbour Bridge steps.
Bicycle Network is joining Bicycle NSW to support a petition that will see the delay debated in parliament. We must tell our MPs that we want to see progress.
If you want to see access improved to the Sydney's busiest commuter bike route, here's three easy ways you can help.
- Download and print off the petition forms and get your friends, colleague, BUG or cycling club to sign it. Once you've collected signatures, send it back to: Bicycle NSW, PO Box 293, Concord West, NSW 2138 by Monday the 16th of April.
- Write to your local MP and the Roads Minister telling them about your disappointment in the delay, reminding them that with an election in March 2019 - you ride and you vote.
- Spread the word and share on social - Collective action makes a difference so please share this across social media and help us get as much attention as we can.
#Togetherwecan fix the Sydney Harbour Bridge steps and improve access.History of campaign Download petition