Pennant Hills Road – Quo Vadis ?

Pennant Hills Road, where are you going ?

It is hoped that, before the end of the year, the long awaited M1/M2 Tunnel (Pearce’s Corner, Wahroonga to the M1 Motorway at Pennant Hills Rd, Carlingford ) will open for business.

This event, when it occurs, opens up exciting possibilities for cyclists in the Pennant Hills to Hornsby area because, with fewer vehicles ( particularly trucks ) using Pennant Hills Road, the corridor it occupies could be put to better use. Topographically, the corridor has very manageable gradients and, as it effectively serves as the connecting ‘spine’ to all the suburbs either side of it, it is the perfect choice for a major branch of Sydney’s future ‘Principal Bicycle Network’ in the city’s north west.

Bike North has been corresponding with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) and Hornsby Council in recent years to make known our support for this strategic re-use of Pennant Hills Road and both these government agencies have indicated that the idea will be considered once the M1/M2 Tunnel opens.

Indeed, in a reply dated 28/4/20 to an inquiry on this subject earlier this year by our President, TfNSW stated that although there are no plans to redesign Pennant Hills Road between the M2 Motorway/Pennant Hills Road and Hornsby at this time, changes in network use after NorthConnex opens may present opportunities along this corridor. 

TfNSW further stated that it :-

“ will carry out a Road Network Performance Review Plan 12 months after NorthConnex opens, in consultation with relevant councils (as required in item E28 of the NorthConnex Conditions of Approval). This plan will reassess the traffic conditions and provide data to future planning for Pennant Hills Road.

The NSW Government is focused on cycling projects in line with (the) Future Transport 2056 Strategy. The strategy identifies the NSW Government’s 40-year vision for transport planning to meet the demands of the predicted population growth in NSW. It prioritises the delivery of connected cycling networks within 10 kilometres of metropolitan city centres by 2026, and within five kilometres of strategic centres by 2036.

Transport for NSW is investigating ways to deliver this vision and provide well-connected cycling facilities to link the key cycling destinations across Greater Sydney. Transport for NSW will also study the feasibility of a cycleway between the M2 Motorway/Pennant Hills Road and Hornsby with relevant stakeholders in the future.”

Hornsby Council has also stated in recent months that once TfNSW’s ‘Road Network Performance Review Plan’ has been prepared in 2021, Council will at that stage “consider any viable options that would support the enhancement of the function and operation of Pennant Hills Road.”

So, in relation to Pennant Hills Road, Bike North plans to review the corridor’s future on two dates :-

  1. later this year when the M1/M2 tunnel opens at which point we may raise it again with Transport Minister Andrew Constance, depending on what interim announcements, if any, are made at the time about other purposes to which Pennant Hills Road can be put and
  2. whenever in 2021 TfNSW announces the review of Pennant Hills Road Network Performance at which time we will make a formal submission on the subject.

In the meantime, Bike North needs to start thinking about what might be reasonably achievable in the way of installing cycle lanes/shared user paths along the Pennant Hills Road corridor and your ideas about this can be sent to :- bn_hornsby@bikenorth.org.au

or to :- justinholmwood@gmail.com

if you want to contact me direct.

Justin Holmwood, 10th June, 2020

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