The NSW Government has provided a general update on the status of the removal of the Sydney Harbour Bridge steps with little detail on when bike riders can expect to see the preferred design.
In December 2018, the RMS released its ‘Across the Bridge’ community update on the status of the Sydney Harbour Bridge upgrades for people who ride and walk at both the northern and southern end.
The update revealed that the government has spoken with stakeholders and investigated alternative ramp alignments and options such as lifts and travellators.
RMS plans to display a recommended preferred option in 2019 with submissions to be considered by a final decision is made.
In 2017, initial designs for a 200 metre ramp at the northern end of the bridge drew the ire of local Milsons Point residents who feared that it would ruin their views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and impinge on Bradfield Park.
At the time Bicycle Network supported option 2 which included a straight ramp supported on columns parallel to the western bridge approach wall through Bradfield Park.
At a press conference in March 2018, Roads Minister Melinda Pavy acknowledged the challenges and concerns of local residents, delaying the project for another two years.
Instead, the government announced that they would instead prioritise the construction of lifts at either end of the bridge, with costs blowing out from $10 million to $15 million.
A lack of ramp access, vague announcements and no concrete timeline has been an ongoing source of frustration for people who ride.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway is one of the busiest links in the metro Sydney bike network - but as it stands, it's accessibility is limited or difficult. A ramp on the northern end will make a big difference for people who ride, currently servicing more 1,900 bike trips made each day.
Bicycle Network has been campaigning for years to see the steps replaced, which would allow the elderly, kids and would-be bike riders to ride to the CBD from the northern suburbs.
With support from our members, we will continue to campaign in 2019 for the hasty removal of the steps and improve access for people of all ages and abilities.