Oxford Street back to the drawing board

The City of Sydney have scrapped the bold plans for a moveable cycleway down the middle of Oxford Street, further delaying a safe passage for one of the busiest bike routes in the city.

The interesting two-way centre corridor was announced in November last year, and was touted as a quick-fix solution that would not impact bus lanes, parking bays or loading zones, and could be removed for events as required.

But after reviewing the designs, the council has scrapped this idea and is now proposing a permanent and separated cycleway along Oxford Street’s northern kerbside, citing that this would resolve the difficulties of using removable infrastructure and ensure the street was suitable for events such as Mardi Gras.

Councillor Linda Scott echoed many of the bike riding communities' frustrations, quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald: "Why announce a new cycleway for Oxford Street... only to cancel the plans because they weren't feasible?

"Communities are tiring of an endless cycle of announcements before elections, followed by years of inaction and delay."

The City's new proposal is to build a permanent cycleway along the northern edge of Oxford Street between Taylor Square and Hyde Park, as well as part of Liverpool Street.

The change of plans pushes completion back two years to 2023, and will include the reinstitution of a two-way cycleway on the western side of College Street, which the government ripped up in 2015, despite community protests.

Lord mayor Clover Moore said: “Moving the cycleway to the northern side of Oxford Street will make the connection to College Street safe for bike riders, and ensure events can be held on the glittering mile without the need to remove centre-running infrastructure.”

Plans for the revised cyclepath along Oxford and Liverpool streets will need to undergo four weeks of community consultation, with a report is scheduled to be put to the council in February, 2022.

If approved, the project will then proceed to a detailed design stage, with construction hopefully completed in 2023.

Meanwhile, there are more than 2,000 bike trips on Oxford Street each day and it unfortunately also has the most reported bike crashes of any street in the area.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.