“Cycling groups have raised concerns with me about this process,” he said. “I have directed Transport for NSW to re-establish consultation with them and provide immediate clarity on the future of the network.”
Bicycle NSW chairman Peter McLean said Transport for NSW needed to “hold contractors to account” as a condition of the project was that the builder needed to consult cycling councils and groups.
“We have not received a bicycle network plan, which we have been strongly requesting for a couple of months now. [and] we cannot comment on the project [without] the information to guide us,” McLean said. “In other highway projects, we received this information, but not in this one.”
Transport for NSW said it was “simplifying the Warringah Motorway, making it safer and easier to use and more efficient and reliable for the benefit of all customers”.
But an evaluation of the project in 2020 by NSW planning experts said: “How it responds to current and future demand” for cycling is unclear, and had “insufficient active transport links to the Harbor Bridge”.
Bicycles are far more efficient users of road space than cars, with total sales this year headed for 1.5 million, Bicycle Industries Australia general manager Peter Bourke said. “To reduce congestion and reduce emissions, bicycles are the way to go.”
Part of the freeway upgrade includes closing the Falcon Street underpass, which is a “heavily used piece of cycling infrastructure,” Baker said.
“But they have not told us how and where it will be restored.”
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said it was “always looking for ways to engage strongly with our communities on initiatives within our major infrastructure projects, and will continue to work with all our key stakeholders.”
Maintaining “safe bike access” along the highway during the five-year construction period “is not possible,” he said.
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