Sydney is a beautiful city, with amazing parks and playgrounds, fantastic schools, top-notch pools and gyms, and much-loved neighborhood centres. However, in many areas popular destinations are all separated by busy roads, canals and railways. This is a legacy of 70 years of planning that prioritised fast movement over places where people can enjoy lingering. Nowhere is this truer than the Inner West communities of Ashfield, Croydon, Haberfield and Five Dock.
Friends of Iron Cove Creek is a grassroots organisation formed to represent residents on the Inner West Council’s proposal to create a walkway/cycleway on Iron Cove Creek (also known as the Dobroyd Canal) from Ashfield Aquatic Centre to Iron Cove Bay and its network of shared paths. There is a huge local appetite for the path, which would link schools, homes and parks in an area that is currently very difficult to navigate on foot or two wheels. The community wants safe spaces to walk and ride bikes to get around. Safe shared paths like that proposed for the Iron Cove Creek corridor can help us be more active, healthier and happier.
(Map showing the proposed route in green (Friends of Iron Cove Creek)
Creative solutions to seize the opportunity
The State government has provided a grant to support planning for this project. Inner West Council (IWC) has also championed the route and will include it in future active transport strategies. This is wonderful, but now is the moment for us to think bigger!
The close collaboration of stakeholders is essential. TfNSW is planning several pathways joining Ashfield, Burwood, Five Dock, Lillyfield and Leichhardt. Sydney Water controls most of the land surrounding the Dobroyd Canal along which this path will be built. Sydney Trains controls the railway right-of-way crossings which currently block north-south movements by bike. It is complicated but rapid action is now a political imperative - the Minister for Active Transport, Rob Stokes, has publicly committed to a network of separated pathways to complete the Eastern Harbour City Strategic Cycleway Corridors which includes Iron Cove Creek.
(The existing canal and an artist’s impression of the proposed walk and cycleway (Friends of Iron Cove Creek)
Let’s get this done now — not in another 10 years!
Friends of Iron Cove Creek have launched a petition to step up pressure on decision-makers to get the project moving. It would be great if our Members and friends could sign HERE.
Bicycle NSW has been very active with advocacy in the Inner West. Recent work includes a submission to help inform Inner West’s new cycling strategy, a document calling for an immediate review of the active transport infrastructure being delivered in and around the Rozelle Interchange and cycle tours of existing and possible routes with local advocates.