As the long-suffering residents of the Inner west are extremely aware, construction is well underway on the massive Rozelle Interchange project. The (mostly!) underground motorway junction will connect the M4-M5 Link tunnel with the Anzac Bridge, Iron Cove Bridge and the future Western Harbour Tunnel, bypassing the City West Link and Victoria Road.
The construction site for the Rozelle Interchange as work began in 2019, looking towards the Bays West precinct and the Sydney CBD. It is imperative that the reconfiguration of such a large part of the inner city delivers amazing outcomes for active transport. (Source: John Holland).
Once complete, the current tunnelling site at the old Rozelle Rail Yards will be converted into 9.5 hectares of new open space. You can explore the proposals here.
Some high-quality walking and cycling paths will be provided in accordance with the conditions of consent. However, it is very clear that the future network will suffer from a piecemeal approach under current plans. Routes will be squeezed in and around the edges of the vast road project. The through travel of trucks and motor vehicles will be prioritised over people, ecology, community, air quality and public health.
Bicycle NSW has collaborated with friends at the Inner West Bicycle Coalition and BayBUG to prepare a document. The document summarises the challenges and opportunities for this part of the Inner West and, advocates for an immediate review of the active transport infrastructure being delivered in and around the Rozelle Interchange.
The shared paths promised at the future Rozelle Parkland. Many hug the edge of wide, fast roads with awkward multistage crossings. There is a worrying lack of bigger-picture thinking about how to deliver high-quality routes that connect west to the Hawthorne Canal, north to Iron Cove Bridge, east to a reinstated Glebe Island Bridge and south to Glebe and Annandale. (Source: TfNSW/WestConnex).
Since the project was approved in 2018, a series of policies and strategies have been released by the NSW Government. While aiming to achieve an improved balance of movement and place, strategies elevate the needs of pedestrians and bike riders over motorised traffic. New priorities have been established.
Bicycle NSW was very excited by Transport for NSW’s recent announcement of the Strategic Cycleway Corridors for Eastern Harbour City. We welcome the commitment to deliver safe, separated, wide, all ages and abilities cycling and micromobility facilities along the strategic corridors in the short- to medium-term.
The corridors will form the backbone of the Principal Bicycle Network and supercharge its development. The NSW Government now has a mandate to resolve barriers created by infrastructure, topography, dense urban fabric and contested road space and to deliver regional cycleways.
Key corridors pass through the Rozelle area and the Lilyfield Connection has been identified as one of five immediate opportunities.
Extract from the new Strategic Cycleway Corridor network map. The City West route (1) through Lilyfield and Victoria Road (2) are identified as strategic corridors. (Source: TfNSW).
The regional route through Lilyfield has been the subject of advocacy and innovative ideas for over two decades. The City West Cycle Link concept, which uses the light rail alignment, was developed in detail over 10 years ago. This idea needs serious thought, alongside a series of other options.
Bicycle NSW's number one request, on behalf of current and future bicycle riders from across Greater Sydney and the beleaguered residents of the Inner West, is for Transport for NSW to undertake urgent feasibility studies to determine the optimum solutions for including high-quality regional cycleways in the Victoria Road and City West Link corridors.
The Rozelle Interchange construction is proceeding fast. “It is time to revisit previous plans and promises developed by WestConnex, adjust the conditions of consent and, demand that the Rozelle Interchange delivers the best possible outcomes for a healthier, less car-dependent future as Sydney’s population grows,” says Bicycle NSW CEO Peter McLean.
“This is the best opportunity in recent years for local and state governments to work together to deliver a truly transformational network for cycling, but there is no time to waste.”