Randwick Council catches the bikeway bug

Stock photo of cyclists using a pop-up cycleway. Photo: Transport for NSW.

By DAMIEN NOVAK

The Randwick City Council is increasingly following the lead of neighbouring LGA the City of Sydney Council on cycling, opening a temporary new cycleway ahead of construction on several major new permanent bikeways.

The pop-up cycleway, a joint initiative of Randwick City Council and Transport for NSW, is now open along High Street, Randwick, and connects the Randwick CBD and light rail terminus with the Kingsford and Kensington town centres – as well as UNSW and NIDA, via existing shared paths along Wansey Road and Anzac Parade.

According to Randwick Mayor Danny Said, the project is partly in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, echoing similar comments made by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore last year about that LGA’s new pop-up and permanent cycleways.

Mr Said announced: “We were pleased that one of the state government’s key responses to Covid-19 was to provide safe routes for walking and bike riding around our area as cycling has become an increasingly popular option.

“This new temporary cycleway had already been identified by Council as a priority route. It will provide a Covid-safe way for people to move around our area and access shopping precincts, work or study without needing to rely on public transport or driving,” he said.

The new pop-up cycleway on High Street, Randwick. Photo: Transport for NSW.

Mr Said added that safe, separated cycleways were a priority for the council.

“Our research has shown that separated cycleways, like this pop-up, help those who are just starting out, such as kids or people new to cycling, feel safer and more confident sharing the road with cars. Many women and young people have also indicated that they feel separated cycleways present a more attractive option for short trips, rather than using a car,” he said.

The pop-up cycleway comes ahead of several new, permanent cycleways in the LGA, including a Centennial Park to Kingsford cycleway, due to start construction later this year, and the South Coogee to Kingsford cycleway. 

The neighbouring City of Sydney opened 10 kilometres of new pop-up cycleways across its jurisdiction in June last year, in response to an increase in residents cycling to work and other locations during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Several routes were later flagged to become permanent cycleways, causing consternation among some residents, however the Life in Sydney 2020 survey – commissioned by the Committee for Sydney and released in September – found a majority (52 per cent) of Sydneysiders support new cycling lanes across the city.