When the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932, cyclists were allowed to ride on the main deck of the Bridge. As motor vehicle traffic increased, cyclists were relegated to riding on the western side of the bridge on a cycleway.
However, since forcing the bikes onto the cycleway in 1962, riders have had to battle up the stairs on the Northern End of the bridge. Currently over 2,000 cyclists use the Sydney Harbour Bridge each day and are forced to dismount and walk their bike up those 55 stairs. The situation is even more precarious on wet days when the stairs can be slippery and put cyclists at further risk of injury. Unfortunately for many cyclists who are trying to take advantage of the incredible health and wellness benefits derived from cycling, this obstacle can be very cumbersome, particularly for cyclists at more elderly stages of life as well as families and children. It is a complete barrier for some.
The Harbour Bridge Cycleway must be open for all to ride. Not just the fit. Not just the present riders. It must be open to all!
Bicycle NSW has been working on this ramp since the 1990s. In 1999, the first Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway Feasibility study took place. However, it wasn’t until December 2016 that the NSW Government publicly committed to the ramp. In November 2017, an Options Report for the ramp was made public.
In March 2018, the ramp was at a standstill again. The main criticisms of the ramp, raised on behalf of residents of North Sydney by Mayor Jilly Gibson, surrounded the impacts the ramp would have on Bradfield Park in terms of tree felling and sightlines. Bicycle NSW does agree that the ramp will change the sightlines to the Bridge. However, since 1932 a number of high rises have been built that have significantly changed the view. A solution between all parties needs to be agreed upon.
Bicycle NSW has been gathering signatures on a petition which calls for the ramp delivery to be expedited. At present we have received over 4,000 signatures. With over 500 signatures, NSW Ministers are required to respond to our petition within 35 business days. Great, but we want more.
If our petition reaches 10,000 signatures, the petition has to be presented to the Parliament of NSW and will be scheduled for discussion in the House. This is now what we are aiming for. We want the Government to know that there is very strong support for step free cycling access to the bridge and that this important infrastructure upgrade should not be further delayed, again. Overall, we just want this ramp built.
Bicycle NSW Board believes that this ramp qualifies for ongoing and extra efforts to be put into reach our goal of 10,000 signatures. With the Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle coming up soon we ask that all participants think about the opportunity for better access to cycling on the Bridge on a day to basis and supports the NSW Government commitment to the ramp. In this iconic ride, we give cyclists the only opportunity to ride on the main deck of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Lets work for step free access every day on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway.
If you would like to support the ramp on the northern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, please download and sign our petition here.
March 22, 2018
Roads Minister, Melinda Pavey, advised that cyclists will have to wait another two years for the ramp.