Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway Projects

Roads and Maritime Services

PO Box 973

Parramatta CBD NSW 2124

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Sydney Harbour Bridge Southern Cycle Ramp

Review of environmental factors

Submission from Bike North


Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Review of environmental factors (REF) for the Sydney Harbour Bridge Southern Cycle Ramp.  Bike North supports your proposal, the preferred option, to upgrade the existing cycleway between the Kent Street cycleway and the Sydney Harbour Bridge southern cycleway. Existing access is unsafe and extremely unattractive to many bike riders due to the extreme gradient, very poor sight-lines and conflict in usage between pedestrians and high bicycle usage. The proposal with proposed gradient of 1:20 and elimination of sharp curvature is essential. We do have concerns about the 1:16 gradient proposed on a large section of this ramp.

Bike North is a volunteer run bicycle user group, affiliated with Bicycle New South Wales and Cycling New South Wales, with a membership of over 500 members. We work with many councils in northern Sydney, towards creating a bicycling friendly environment for all who want to use a bike for transport or recreation in northern Sydney. As well as actively working with those councils, Roads and Maritime Services / Transport NSW and other government authorities, we run a diverse, popular and quality program of social rides which is free and open to the public as well as an education program of cycling skills called ‘Bike for Life’ to encourage more skilled and confident bike riders in Sydney.

Bike North recommends that the design ensure good access to destinations within the route.  For example Fort Street School and the Observatory are two potential destinations for bike riders and the cycleway needs to have smooth, safe and efficient access to these destinations.

Bike North recommends consideration be given as to the separation between the footpath and the cycleway.  It is critical that both categories of path users can easily understand which section of the pathway they are intended to use. Separation by a painted line and standard bike or pedestrian logos is insufficient. At the very least there needs to be highly visual and understood pavement treatments to demarcate the different areas.

Bike North also suggest you consider a wider design criteria than 3 metres. 4 metres is a more appropriate width for the volumes of bike riders.  While we appreciate that the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway itself is much narrower, a new ramp should not be similarly constrained, particularly taking into consideration the gradient which will result in varying uphill and down speeds.

Yours sincerely


Tom Rubin



    * Rides in Red have been cancelled