The Beaches Link and Gore Hill Freeway Connection EIS closes at 11:59pm on Monday 1 March so just a few more days to get in your submission. Submissions are made through the NSW Planning portal which you can access from HERE and clicking on Have Your Say. You will need to create an account to make your submission so get that organised now so you are ready to go. Doesn’t matter how short or detailed your submission is, just do it and please include the major points below that matter to you.
The active transport issues that Bike North has raised with this project are:
- Major accessibility, continuity and safety issues at the Artarmon site with the closure of the existing wide and quality pathway between Naremburn and Artarmon for at least four years of construction and no alternative provided except for an on-road route along busy, fast and heavy vehicle trafficked roads through Artarmon Industrial Area. This is the best section of the regional separated cycleway between Eastwood and Naremburn. A comparison of existing path and proposed diversion can be viewed HERE. Despite the obvious huge impact on cycling the EIS describes this impact as ‘minor’ which is completely and dangerously misleading.
- Safety issues for riders on existing Herbert St bike route at the bridge over the freeway.
- Failure to consider an increase in the width of Herbert St bridge to enable continuity of Willoughby Council’s proposed separated cycleway
- Moderate safety and continuity concerns for proposed detour path at Flat Rock site.
- Failure to include any improvement to the existing unsafe gap from where the cycleway terminates in the middle of the motorway at Naremburn to West Street, Cammeray.
- Failure to include Bike North as a stakeholder for this project in the EIS
Bike North requests that any approval of the proposed Beaches Link
- Include Bike North as a stakeholder with full involvement through the life of the project
- At all times and places ensure a safe environment for bike riders and pedestrians as a result of construction, including any truck access route
- At all times and places ensure any diversion/detour or final bicycle routes are separate from vehicles, protected from heavy vehicles and to Austroads Standards and approved by TfNSW, Active Transport
- With regard to the cycleway alongside the Gore Hill Freeway at Artarmon ensure that access along the path remains continuous, safe and easy to use. Any necessary detour should:
- Be minimised to continue along the existing alignment wherever possible.
- Provide separation from vehicles, protection from heavy vehicles, to Austroads standards and TfNSW Active Transport approvals.
- Be included as part of the overall site design, rather than fitting around a pre-determined site design.
- Be based on final designed path as much as practical.
- At all times be developed in consultation with Bike North with timely notification of any adjustments.
- Provide an underpass of the railway line preferably connecting to Punch Street, so as to avoid steep hills and merging with vehicles on and around railway overpass road
- Preferably provide an underpass of Herbert Street
- If detoured away from the existing cycleway alignment, connect directly back to the path from Waltham Street to avoid Reserve Road.
- With regard to construction of the Herbert Street / Hampden Road bridge over the motorway
- Ensure safe access for people riding along this on-road bicycle route
- Provide a widening of the bridge to enable a fully separated cycleway across the bridge as part of the proposed Willoughby Council Chatswood to St Leonards separated cycleway
- With regard to Flat Rock access site
- Ensure safe access for people riding along the detour which is to full Austroad standard and TfNSW Active Transport approved.
- Provide continuous access to both Small Street, Willoughby and Sailors Bay Road, Northbridge to the north AND to Market Street East to the south AND the underpass of Flat Rock Drive to the west.
- With regard to provision of new cycling facilities as required for any transport project
- Include an extension of the existing cycleway which terminates at Merremburn Avenue, Naremburn to West Street at equivalent standard including protection from the motorway and total separation from vehicles through an overpass bridge.
Making a submission by the due date is critical but we also recommend you contact your local state member to ask for their support to ensure a good cycling outcome both during construction and in operation. You can do that over the next few weeks. Bike North has written to a number of local state members and the Willoughby Council Mayor seeking their support. These letters can be viewed from Bike North website https://www.bikenorth.org.au/advocacy/special-projects/
(2021 – Willoughby Freeway Upgrade and Beaches Link)