Gladesville Bridge

Hunters Hill Council is updating its Bike Plan, and is proposing to improve the access to the Gladesville Bridge from the north (see pages 53-54). The current access is very poor, requiring a circuitous poorly signposted route down under the bridge then back up to the start of the bridge shared path, with steps at one stage. Informal routes are used by some cyclists, which involve crossing the slip lane off Burns Bay Rd from Tarban Ck and scrambling up a rough path. The solution would be a footbridge over this slip lane from Huntleys Point Park.

IWBC made a submission supporting the Council’s plan for the bridge, pointing out that a plan was put forward in 2004 but never implemented. There were many comments on the bridge on the Council’s interactive web tool (now closed for comment but can read comments) for the new bike plan. Maybe this time something will get done.

Final plan as approved in April 2021 has only called for a “visionary” link to be built sometime in the future- no funding even for a study. Council is to lobby the State Govt, as they are responsible for the bridge.

Note added in Nov 2021. Transport for NSW has announced changes to the development of its Principal Bike Network for Sydney. They had it listed as a project under Infrastructure Australia, but it hasnt progressed for years, requiring some body to develop a business plan and a design. So now they seem to be implying that they will do important links themselves, and have asked bike groups for a list of 10 projects in their areas. This is an opportunity to get Gladesville Bridge on the final priority list. IWBC has added it to our list, although it is a little out of our area. If you are a member of Bike North, support them in any attempts to get the bridge approach fixed.

Bicycle Budget Inner West Council

IWBC asked the Council for a breakdown of the bicycle budget for 2020/21 and following years. Council replied promptly and the amounts are substantial, particularly compared to only a few years ago.

Cathy Edwards-Davis provided the attached spreadsheet . $6.005M is committed to bicycle works in the current financial year (20/21). These are gross figures and some of these have been partly funded by grants from TfNSW/RMS. Most of those items were for Leichhardt and Marrickville projects that were in their bike plans. In addition there was an announcement in Inner West Newsletter that 2020-21 would have a total footpaths and cycleways budget of $23.7M. 

Some of the funds were from developer contributions. There were also funds from the State Goverment for the Parramatta Urban Improvement Project and for the Greenway. (Council has matched the State Govt funding on the Greenway).

A further update on this were two items that are to be included as a result of TfNSW responses to Covid. These were:
1. Fast tracking part of the already approved Summer Hill to Newtown cycleway as a “pop-up” cycleway,

2. Stage 1 of the Livingstone Rd cycleway from Albermarle St to Marrickville Park (this was to be funded solely by IWC as part of LR03).

Neil Tonkin provided the folowing comment:

As you know the former Ashfield Council had a sorry history of not formally providing for cycle facilities and hence not even having plans in place, should funding opportunities arise. The budget reflects this deficiency. At all our communications with IWC we have stressed that we expect Ashfield to be brought up to speed with the rest of the municipality. The staff are painfully aware of these deficiencies. All I can say is the merger has not been easy for the new council, they claim a significant capital budget deficiency. They have at least determined to complete ’legacy’ projects that were included in the former Leichhardt and Marrickville bike plans. That is why the new bicycle strategy being prepared by Council is so important and the route suggestions made by us for Ashfield.

IWBC Meeting 24 October 2020

10 members of Bike Marrickville, Bike Leichhardt and Ashfield Bike Group attended.

Topics discussed:

1. Summary of IWBC relationship to IWC, including Councillors, departure of CEO Michael Deegan, working relationship with IWC planning staff and traffic managers.

2. Discussion of reasons for IWC unresponsiveness to cycle infrastructure requests, including merger, staff changes, lack of capital funds and funding disparities between Ashfield and other former councils.

3. Update on latest cycle facility diversions (good and bad) around Rozelle Interchange.

4. Discussion on pothole repairs, confirmation that Snap Send Solve system is still working within IWC.

5. Discussion on ways forward to get central lane logo placements progressed around former Ashfield municipality.

6. Discussion and tips on how Bike Marrickville/Massbug achieved many small improvements by compiling a ‘Bike Works programme’ that was gradually diligently worked through by Marrickville council engineers with little knowledge of bicycle infrastructure provision. A good lesson in detail, diligence and persistence.

7. Discussion on ways to stimulate and facilitate cyclist requests, queries to council (and Councillors), including easy standard e-mails and ways of reaching and empowering more cyclists in the municipality.

8. Review of successes and setbacks in implementation of Pop-Up cycleways in City of Sydney and surrounding councils. Tips on how IWBC can get more action from IWC on Pop-Ups.

9. Discussion on the rationale behind cycle route planning in IWC municipality with regards to desire lines, trip generators, delivery riders routes and links to external council bike routes. The group agreed to look at routes that would capitalise on the emerging popularity of bikes during Covid for families, workers, e-bike riders, cargo bike riders and delivery riders.

10. The group started proposing cycle routes on a large map of the community. There were many suggestions in the former Ashfield which historically has had no bike plan. Other routes in the former Leichhardt and Marrickville were also proposed. Further work on this will be undertaken by the group taking into account current conditions, opportunities, previous bike plan routes and group members detailed knowledge of their areas.

The meeting was well attended and evenly represented by persons from all three former municipalities. New members contributions were appreciated.

Neil Tonkin
Advocacy Coordinator
Inner West Bicycle Coalition