Carrington Road and Changes to the Road Rules

Cyclists have to give way at all side streets.

(See Updates at end.)

Carrington Rd in Marrickville is on the bike route to Tempe and Cooks River. A bi-directional bike path was installed along it several years ago. While welcome, it requires cyclists to give way to turning traffic at five side streets, and also to traffic exiting the side streets. This has led to a stop-start sort of experience for cyclists and conflict with motorists. Many cyclists feel it is somehow wrong that a cyclist on a bike path (even though it ended at side streets, another sore point) had to give way to turning traffic, and also that it was hard to look over your right shoulder to see if any cars wanted to turn left, etc. Surely it would be better to have motorists give way, the same as they must for pedestrians when turning into a side street. Drivers exiting should have to give way to cyclists the same as they give way to drivers on the main street, following rules for T -junctions. The same problem has occurred on some City of Sydney bike paths at side streets, with RMS arguing about correct treatments.

Bike Marrickville and IWBC have had talks with the Council about giving cyclists priority, but it was claimed it was safer for cyclists to give way. RMS also insists this is the only way to interpret the road rules, which are notoriously complicated in regards to giving way at side streets, and do not explicitly mention cyclists.

The then CEO of the IW Council (since departed, unfortunately, as he seemed interested in cycling matters) suggested we get the rules changed, notably the Road Rules 72, 74 and 75, on giving way. IWBC approached Transport for NSW to ask if this could be done. A letter on 25/2/2021 was received from TfNSW saying they would refer the matter to the national body responsible for “maintaining” the road rules, the ARRMG, for investigation. The NTC (National Transport Commission) then can decide to amend the rules based on advice from ARRMG.

Alex Greenwich MP for Sydney has also apparently asked for a review of the road rules.

Other references:

RMS Technical Guide 2020/03 on shared zone intersections at side streets.

RMS Technical Note 2013/05 on continuous footpaths at side streets.

SKM Behavioural study for City of Sydney on intersections for cyclists. Appendix A in particular.

Proposed UK road rule change to make drivers give way to cyclists when turning across their path.

Update September 2021

Inner West Council had a meeting with Bike Marrickville and it appears they will remove the Give Way signs for cyclists, except for Renwick St at the southern end. They need more time to assess Renwick St.

Further Update March 2023

The NTC has announced Draft changes to the Australian road rules applying to cyclists crossing side streets. Drivers will have to treat cyclists the same as pedestrians, and give way to them when turning in to side streets. Presumably this would mean a cyclist using a shared path and crossing a side street would have priority over vehicles turning in to the side street. Unclear to me if this also applies to a bike path in the road, as in Carrington Rd.