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Alexandra Canal Cycleway
History repeating in planned removal of cycleway

In what appears to be a case of history repeating, the current NSW Government will rip up another popular cycleway to make way for a new motorway.

Under state government plans for the Sydney Gateway motorway project, the Alexandra Canal Cycleway which runs adjacent to Sydney airport’s northern boundary, will be cut at both ends. 

In 2015, the NSW Government removed the College Street cycleway to make way for more buses and cars despite counts showing that 2,000 bike riders used the route daily. And now it looks like it's about to happen again.

Popular with people who ride, the Alexandra Canal Cycleway is a separated, flat and direct shared bike and pedestrian connection from Tempe and the city’s southern and inner west suburbs to the CBD and eastern suburbs.

But due to Sydney Airport airspace height restrictions, the Sydney Gateway project plans to remove the existing cycleway to make space for the motorway designed to carry traffic from the WestConnex toll road to Sydney Airport by 2023.

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The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) are investigating detours which follow a similar route to the proposed motorway, however, none appear to be a suitable alternative. 

The City of Sydney also had plans to extend the cycleway further north along the length of the canal, with the intention of opening it up to a European-style promenade.

These plans were consistent with the state government’s Alexandra Canal master plan in 2001 which recognised the canal as key recreational route.

The City of Sydney’s manager of cycling strategy, Fiona Campbell told the Sydney Morning Herald that city’s plans have now been thrown into question.

“The Alexandra Canal master plan that the state government did back in 2001 envisaged the canal as a regional recreation attractor, with tables and chairs, and picnic areas and cafes along the canal as well as a path on both sides,” the City of Sydney’s manager of cycling strategy, Fiona Campbell, said.

“That’s now ruled out if at least part of the canal is severed, and the community can’t have access anymore.”

Sign the petition to save the Alexandra Canal Cycleway

A petition supported by a group of local bike advocates and Bicycle User Groups calls for three key asks to protect access and vital active travel connections.  

  1. A cycling and walking route along Alexandra Canal from Tempe Reserve to Coward St (equivalent to the existing facility, if not improved) during and after construction.
  2. A cycling and walking route linking the Alexandra Canal pathway with the Sydney Airport Domestic Terminal and Bayside Council’s proposed Eastern cycling network (Wentworth Ave, Mill Pond greenway, Foreshore Drive)
  3. A bicycle route linking the Alexandra Canal pathway to Sydenham Station and to Sydney Park.

Bicycle Network is joining the call for the State Government (RMS) to support the current and future needs of people who ride bikes in Sydney by protecting and providing vital active travel links around Sydney Airport.

Bicycle Network is urging all members and friends in NSW to sign the petition and write letters to their state and federal representatives as well as election candidates outlining the three key asks.

With active travel commitments coming in thick and fast from major parties, bikes and cycleways have become a sudden election issue. This presents a great opportunity to get some wins for people who ride in NSW. 

Sign the petition

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