NSW is experiencing a construction boom, and whether it’s residential, commercial, roads or rail, most communities are impacted and it’s set to continue for decades. Bicycle NSW has been working to improve the safety of construction planning and management for vulnerable road users and communities.
Bicycle user groups and members have raised issues related to the impact of construction. From cycleways that have been removed or obstructed, detours into heavy traffic, unsafe lighting, potholes and the use of barriers that impede the passage of cargo bikes, slippery road-plates, cycle trailers and bikes with child carriers attached.
Construction projects have brought an increase in fast moving heavy vehicles, damage to road surfaces, pedestrian crossings and footpaths. Whether you walk, drive, ride a motorbike or bicycle, people all over NSW are impacted.
In July Bicycle NSW attended a vulnerable road users forum, joining with representatives of the Heart Foundation, City of Sydney Council, BIKEast, Department of Health, Austroads, Council of the Ageing, Transport for NSW and Bicycle Network to discuss the issues. Dr Dan Sullivan explained that current law and regulations require construction managers to plan appropriately to keep people safe who walk and ride.
Presentations from BIKEast and Bicycle Network, including pictures, showed where this wasn’t happening. Yvonne from BIKEast also explained the many challenges she had faced reporting issues or getting problems fixed.
“We know construction managers don’t want to hurt anyone, but they may not have ridden a bike for years or mightn’t be thinking about what really impacts people who ride and walk,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
Since the forum group members have been working to improve the situation. City of Sydney Council has updated their Traffic Control Plan Guide and this clearly shows how construction managers are required to provide for bikes. It’s clear, easy to understand, and can be shared to explain what should be happening.
So what do you do when faced with issues related to construction?
- Note the name of your nearest cross-street or use google-maps to get coordinates for your location – you’ll need this for reporting.
- At the entrance or exit to the construction site there should be contact details for the site manager – call that person to report the problem and location.
- If the issue relates to light-rail construction call 1800 775 465 24/7.
- For all other issues with construction of transport infrastructure (road, rail, light rail) call 131500. This line is staffed 7 days a week 6am – to midnight.
- If it’s not a transport project and you can’t find contact details for the site manager or there’s imminent risk of injury or death, call SafeWork NSW on 131050.
You can also report to the local Council or try the SnapSendSolve App, but State Government and commercial construction projects may not participate in the App service. We are also starting a hashtag so you can tweet images of great construction management or problems #BuildSafeNSW