Link the Greenway

BIKESydney has once again urged the Department of Planning to establish a City West Shared Path – an off-road, flat, quiet, green, shared path that connects the Greenway to the Anzac Bridge via the disused Lilyfield rail corridor.

This link to the CBD would connect several regional cycling routes to the city and connect large catchments of cyclists to the City of Sydney’s new cycling infrastructure.

BIKEsydney is a strong supporter of the Greenway which, once complete, will provide magnificent infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. However, as the plans currently stand the project will not provide a  meaningful cycling connection to the city.

As indicated in the photos below, the existing on-road connection from Hawthorne Canal (north) to the city via Lilyfield Rd presents significant barriers for cyclists such as steep gradients (eg, Lilyfield Rd and the Victoria Rd footbridge), high-speed traffic and car door zones. The unattractiveness of the existing route is evidenced by the almost complete lack of children and the elderly using the route – one which in reality services only road-hardened cyclist.

The proposed extension would bypass the Lilyfield Road hill…

…and the difficult to access Victoria Road overpass.

Conversely, a relatively flat, off-road connection between the northern end of the Greenway (Hawthorne Canal) and the western approach to the CBD via Anzac Bridge (or in future, the Glebe Island Swing Bridge) would be very strongly supported and patronised by all members of the cycling community and one which cycling advocates will continue to campaign heavily for.

The rail corridor is flat as a tack and ready to go. Photo: Sydney Morning Herald.

The existing Rozelle/Lilyfield Goods Line rail corridor is near ideal for this purpose and presently sits unused and “shovel-ready”.

BIKESydney is in possession of a detailed and current quote for the civil works required to complete the concept. A recognised civil works contractor has provided a quote of $5million to deliver the entire scheme provided the works can be undertaken prior to the installation of the light rail’s overhead wiring. This represents just 1% of the cost of the Light Rail Inner West Extension project despite delivering an infrastructure approximately half the length of the Greenway shared path.

The scheme, which has the support of Sydney City Council, Leichhardt Council and Bicycle NSW, could be delivered in time for the opening of the Inner West Light Rail project.

Download our submission to NSW Planning.

3 Responses to “Link the Greenway”
  1. Rob Mueck says:

    In response to George’s concerns:
    The Fernleigh Track (Google it), is an example of how a disused rail corridor (including similar length tunnel and cutting) can become a world class active transport corridor. This 15km project was done on a shoe string budget. It is the pride of both Newcastle and Lake Macquarie City Councils. They report no security issues.

    Compare the safety/security of an off-road cycle route with that of the current on road one.

    The design proposed for the cycleway is a simple one which allows drainage and other services to pass under it.

    I note that the $500M budget is for both the inner west light rail extension and the CBD light rail down George St.

  2. DulwichGeoff says:

    I would like to highlight the benefits of this to the Sydney Green Ring project. This is a great vision for overseas visitors (and locals) to explore Sydney.
    With response to George, Sydney has an ability to over engineer. Let’s keep it simple and we will avoid the junkies playground because of the patronage.

  3. George says:

    You must be kidding about $5million. That’s what the contractor says now, but go anywhere near any kind of service (power, water, electricity, communications) and you’ll be doubling/tripling that quickly…Once the contractor is signed up, you’ll see the cost blow out so that required services works are done.

    Secondly, which cyclist would want to be hidden under Lilyfield where there are no lights and no passive security as there would be with riding on the road through Lilyfield Road. It’ll be a junkies playground and no one would be safe from people lurking aroud!

    I’m all for bike lanes and improving access to the city…I used to ride those roads everyday…but it’ll become the biggest white elephant putting a bike lane down there.


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