Rozelle Interchange and Bicycle Links.

Rozelle Interchange is stage 3b of the Westconnex project. It is a spaghetti of road tunnels under Lilyfield and Rozelle to link the M4East-M5 tunnels (Stage 3a, now being built) to the proposed stage 4 (yet to be approved, but how could it be refused if stage 3b is finished?) under-Harbour tunnel from Birchgrove to North Sydney and Artarmon. There is also a tunnel from the east end of the Iron Cove Bridge to the Rozelle Goods Yard. The Goods Yard, or what is left of it after the Light rail depot swallowed the western end, will become a park, complete with tunnel smoke stacks and ventilation pumps, and will extend east under the Victoria Rd bridge at White Bay.

There are associated bicycle works as part of the project (the Active Transport component, unkindly referred as “greenwash” by some, but not us). A bike path is to be built through the Goods Yard to link with Anzac Bridge. A foot and bike bridge will be built over the City West Link from Brenan St near Whites Creek into the Goods Yard park. Another foot and bike bridge will pass over the City West Link at The Crescent, again linking into the Goods Yard park.

An interesting part of the EIS approval for the project was a requirement for the builder (John Holland Joint Venture got the contract) to build a separated cycleway along Victoria Rd (or in the corridor) from the tunnel portal, near Terry St, to Robert St. This requirement by the Department of Planning is some sort of recognition that if motorists get a nice new tunnel to bypass Victoria Rd the community should get a nice new cycleway in the same corridor, even if we still have to pedal up the hill to Darling St.

A big impact of the project will be the removal of the two foot and bike bridges near the Victoria Rd and The Crescent intersection, starting in early 2020, to allow an extra road lane onto the Anzac Bridge. A complex method of maintaining access for cyclists to the Anzac Bridge will need to be worked out. John Holland JV have promised details will be released in August 2019. They have already released plans for detours around the tunnel portal work site on Victoria Rd, between Byrne St and Springside St. This will affect cyclists using the new Iron Cove Bridge cycleway heading to Rozelle from Drummoyne- they will be detoured down Byrne St.

A further impact on cyclists will be at the tunnel dive site in Camperdown, which fronts onto Pyrmont Bridge Rd. Construction activities may affect the cycle route along Pyrmont Bridge Rd between Mallett St and Parramatta Rd. After construction has finished a separated cycleway will (we think, after talks with Inner West Council) get installed, as part of the Parramatta Rd Improvement Scheme..

Rozelle Interchange is currently in site preparation, and construction is to start in early 2020. The Lilyfield Rd footbridge is to be demolished in early 2020.

IWBC has had meetings with John Holland on proposed cycleway detours during construction. John Holland has a site office in Lilyfield Rd at Gordon St, if you want to drop in and discuss detours and the Active Transport component.

City West Cycle Link


Inner West Council is supporting the construction of the City West Cycle Link. At a recent council meeting they resolved to seek talks with the State Government about including the CWCL in the Westconnex/Harbour Tunnel project, which has been given the go ahead.

The CWCL is a relatively flat bike path from Hawthorne Canal, alongside the railway, going under Norton St and through the deep cutting to the Rozelle/Lilyfield Railyard east of Balmain Rd and on via the proposed new parkland towards White Bay and the Anzac Bridge Cycleway, or the old Glebe Island Bridge if that is opened to foot and bicycle traffic in the future. It would run under Victoria Rd where the old rail tracks ran.

As originally proposed by Bike Sydney the CWCL would require temporary closure of the light rail or night working to cut a half tunnel into the side of the cutting for bicycles to travel in, next to the railway. An alternative idea is to bore a separate tunnel, which would not require any disruption to the rail operation, and give greater flexibility to the start and finish of the tunnel. A tunnel for bicycles would be just one of many tunnels under Leichhardt, Lilyfield and Rozelle/Balmain to be built as part of the Westconnex/Harbour West Tunnel project.

IWBC will be seeking talks with local MPs to get their support for the concept. The greatest benefit would be to the residents west of Leichhardt, in John Sidoti’s electorate, and to the southwest in Ashfield and Croydon area. They would have a flat bike path into the CBD, encouraging many more to cycle than currently do on the hilly Lilyfield Rd route. The CWCL is a logical extension of the Greenway towards the CBD.

Shelved Lilyfield Rd Cycleway project reported to Council watchdog

The Mayor, Darcy Byrne, has reported the shelved* cycleway project to the independent Council watchdog, to investigate if there was a proper oversight of the project by Leichhardt Council from 2015-2016, when it was in the hands of the Administrator prior to the recent amalgamations with Marrickville and Ashfield Councils. Around $500,000 was spent on the project.

The project was announced by Transport for NSW as part of its Regional Cycleway Network in late 2015 and more or less dumped on Leichhardt Council to do the tendering and supervision. Council selected GTA Woodhead as consultants to do the design. The first concept design ran into opposition from residents on the grounds of loss of parking, and cyclists on the grounds of narrowness of the cycleway and steepness of the route A revision, which took about 12 months to do, also met opposition, largely due to it requiring one way restrictions on parts of Lilyfield RD. Residents and cycling groups complained about the method of consultation and slowness of responses. The mayor announced the project would be “shelved” and “not proceed to detailed design stage” in early 2018.

A public meeting was held in May 2018 and it was decided to do a review of the project and produce a new design.

*At time of writing Council was  about to call for tenders for a new consultant to do a review and work on a new plan for a cycleway, with some alternative routes, as suggested by IWBC, and options to be considered.

At the same time Council has decided to seek talks with Transport for NSW about construction of the City West Cycle link, a tunnel or half tunnel under Lilyfield in or near the railway corridor. The CWCL would provide a flat route from Hawthorne canal to the Rozelle Goods Yard, with easy connection to White bay and Anzac bridge. If built it would largely replace the need for a Regional Cycleway on Lilyfield Rd.

UPDATE, June 2019: 

In May 2019 Council appointed Complete Urban (completeurban.com.au) to do a report on the shelved Lilyfield Rd cycleway project and come up with some new suggestions. IWBC met with Nathan Parish from Complete Urban and  Council officers in June. Stephen Joannidis is the Council officer in charge of the new project. Further meetings and consultations are scheduled.  Community management of the project will be important, considering the opposition to many aspects of the shelved plan.

Council has implemented a ban on trailers and heavy vehicles along the railway side of Lilyfield Rd. Cars can park there but lengthy sections are empty, and we continue to call for a ban on all parking to allow space for a wide high quality bike path or lanes.

Also affecting the project is the Rozelle Interchange (stage 3 of Westconnex) which will create a parkland on the adjacent Goods Yard east of the Light Rail stabling sheds. If a path through the new park (from about Justin St) is built to connect to Anzac Bridge the eastern section of Lilyfield Rd will be bypassed. The footbridge at Victoria Rd is to be demolished as part of a widening of Victoria Rd, so an alternative is needed in any case.

Big Bike Day Sunday 23 September

All three bike groups, plus Dulwich Hill BC, will be at the Inner West Council Big Bike Day in War Memorial Park, Catherine and Moore Sts, Lilyfield on Sunday.
bigbikeday So come down and have a chat about cycling at our stall.

Also on is Tour de Balmain, a ride put on by Bike Leichhardt, starting 830 am from bar Italia in Norton St, Leichhardt, riding around the Balmain Peninsular taking in historic sites and harbour parks, and ending at the Big Bike day around 1130 am in time for a free lunch.

Inner West Council Bicycle Working Group- BWG

After lobbying by IWBC during the recent Council elections the Council, through a motion by Cr Drury and other supportive Councillors, agreed to set up a Bicycle Working Group, to take the place of the Bicycle Advisory Committee on the old Leichhardt Council. It isn’t a Council Committee, that is it won’t report directly to Councillors at Council Meetings, but minutes will be taken and available to Councillors through a bi-monthly “Local Democracy” report. The Working group is open to anyone to attend, and relevant staff will provide reports and answer questions.

Terms of reference

“The Group is constituted as a Working Group and not a Committee of
Council, minutes of each meeting will not be presented to a Council
Meeting for formal adoption. Rather updates from Working Groups would be
provided to Council as part of a bi-monthly Local Democracy report.

The Group can request Councillors to bring matters before Council by way of
Councillor Notice of Motion process.

Working Group participants can request agenda items at meetings or through the
Group Manager Roads,Traffic & Stormwater.”

The first meeting was held on June 16,2018.
Reports were given on the status of bicycle projects including
LR03- Livingstone Rd
LR07 – St Peters Station to Tempe Station
LR16 – Addison Rd
LR18 – Dulwich Hill Station to Marrickville Station
RR02 – Parramatta Rd to Marrickville Park
RR07 – Longport St, Petersham to King St, Newtown
and Lilyfield Road cycleway
by Manager of Transport Infrastructure Predrag Gulelj, and an overview of transport planning and the aims of Council to promote Active Transport (walking, cycling, public transport) was given by Ken Welsh, Senior Transport Planner, worth a read, along with the Integrated transport Strategy 2016 for the former Leichhardt Council.

A worrying aspect of the amalgamation is the need for the new council to develop new Transport Plans, tying together plans from the three former councils. This will take 2 to 3 years (see Ken’s timeline in his presentation) and they said the new Inner West Bike Plan will have to wait until that is done. I am hoping it can be done in conjunction or some other means found to keep projects coming through for implementation. Ashfield Council never had a bike plan so one is urgently needed so that RMS will provide funding- a necessary condition.

Ken Welsh- presentation on Strategic Planning Context

Predrag Gulej- Projects Update -21.6.18

Minutes are available from the Council Working group web site link.

Have your say on the Greenway Missing Links

IWCouncil now says construction of the missing links, such as the underpasses of Parramatta Rd, Longport St and Old Canterbury Road, will start in late 2018. They are seeking comment on a Master Plan at www.yoursayinnerwest.com.au. This will go to Council for approval in mid 2018. Seems a time wasting process, since design work has been going on now for about a year since the funding was announced. WHy not just get on and build it?

More at www.greenway.org.au, though sometimes it isn’t very uptodate.

Inner West Council elections

Results of the elections on 24 September are that Darcy Byrne (Labor) has the mayoralty, after doing a deal with the Liberals and the independent Victor Macri. Labor won 5 seats and the Liberals 2. The Greens also won 5 seats but could only rely on two independents, John Stamolis and Jennie Lockie (Nowestconnex).

Labor promised during the campaign that there would be a $10 m “bike fund” for projects over the next three years, in addition to funding to complete the Greenway. The Greens promised $40 m for “active transport”. The Liberals were silent.

IWBC is calling for a quick resumption of bicycle planning and construction, with adequate staff to do the work. There is a fear that another round of reorganization and change may ensue as the new Council sorts itself out, leading to delays in getting vital bicycle infrastructure designed and built. Specialist bike planners are needed and we hope Council can build on the expertise already apparent amongst current staff.

We are also calling for a reconstitution of a Bicycle Advisory Committee, where residents can have a say on bicycle projects and programs. We hope a progressive will be appointed to chair the Traffic Committee and that a cycling representative will be appointed.