An updated proposal for a bicycle ramp replacing the inaccessible Sydney Harbour Bridge steps is expected to be released in the coming months.
In NSW State parliament, the Shadow Minister for Active Transport Jo Haylen, asked the Minister for Roads, Andrew Constance for an update on the long-awaited ramp.
The Minister provided the following response:
“I am Advised the Government remains absolutely committed to delivering improved cycling access to Sydney Harbour Bridge. Restart NSW funding has been allocated and is ready to be spent on this project as soon as Transport for NSW has found a design solution that satisfies the community.
Transport for NSW has been working closely with the local community and key stakeholders, including local councils and environment and heritage experts. An updated proposal is expected to be released in coming months and the community will be kept informed of progress.
The cycle ramps will provide smooth and safe connections to support future growth and cycling use, while reflecting the significant heritage values of the area and architectural qualities of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.”
Previously, the most recent update was that the bridge was set to be delayed due again for two years due to some ‘big challenges’ to the project, most notably objections by Milsons Point residents who fear the ramp will detract from their views of the Harbour Bridge.
The current Sydney Harbour Bridge steps are a thorn in the sides of the 2,000 odd commuters who ride the bridge every day.
It is clear from the Minister’s response that both sides of the politics agree that the access to the bridge must be improved.
Instead of installing the ramp that was proposed during the rounds of community consultation, the government opted to prioritise the construction of lifts, where the cost has blown out from $10 million to $15 million.
The bike riders of Sydney need a safe, connected and accessible option to cross the Harbour Bridge, as the current 55 steps are dangerous when wet, and even more so when trying to carry a bicycle.
Bicycle Network hopes the announcement will come with a solid plan to build the ramp. The riders of Sydney have waited long enough.
Building the ramp on the north side of the bridge has been an ongoing Bicycle Network campaign for over five years.