This 650-metre, two-way College Street cycleway from the intersection of Oxford and Liverpool streets to the top of Hyde Park, will mean bike riders will have a safe and separated, two-way cycleway linking them to the north, south, east and west of central Sydney.
Cyclists protest the closure of the original College Street cycleway.
The City of Sydney spent $4 million building this important link in 2010 – 13 years ago – and it was summarily removed by former Minister for Roads Duncan Gay even though it was one of the most heavily used cycleways in Sydney, with more than 2,000 cyclists using it each day.
Back then our bike lanes were met by a furious chorus of shock jocks and tabloid reporting, and they were often blocked by the NSW Government.
The removal came despite some of the largest cycling protests ever seen in our city.
And ironically, even after the cycleway’s removal, College Street remained one of the city’s busiest cycling routes.
The NSW Government has spent $5 million replacing this link in our expanding bicycle network, which is crucial as it flows into recently built cycleways on King and Pitt streets.
Soon it will link to a future Oxford Street cycleway; a new cycleway at Macquarie Street; and the King Street cycleway will run all the way south to Clarence Street.
With the construction of these new links, bike riders will have a separated north-south bike route across our City, between Circular Quay and Rosebery. Many of our neighbouring councils are building separated cycleways to connect with our network.
This financial year alone, the City has opened 2.6 kilometres of new cycleways.
Since 2007 we have delivered 25 kilometres of safe, separated cycleways including pop-up cycleways, 60 kilometres of shared paths and 40 kilometres of other cycling infrastructure so now more than 7,000 people safely ride to work in the city centre – the equivalent of 7 full trains or 116 full buses.
72 per cent of Sydneysiders support separated cycleways, and most want Sydney's bike network built faster.
Businesses have been strong supporters of increasing cycling since 2005 and have themselves invested $57 million in bike parking and shower facilities in the past four years to encourage their staff to ride.
The City’s newest public end-of-trip facilities will soon open at 180 George Street in central Sydney with 200 bike parks, showers, and lockers. And we have an existing facility at 38 Sussex Street, Barangaroo.
But not everyone can ride. Separated cycleways ease traffic congestion for those who need to drive. More bikes mean fewer cars on the road and more seats on public transport. And more people on bikes, helps our environment because cycling is a zero-emission transport choice.
There is also economic justification for the bike network. Building cycleways has a benefit-cost ratio far higher than Government transport projects, with a return of at least $2.68 worth of benefits for every $1 spent.
Today, I’m pleased to say that the NSW Government is working with us on building cycleways. On the reopening of this cycleway, I’m reminded of the quote attributed to John Lennon: ‘Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.’
Bike trips in our local area have more than doubled since 2018, and riding in the city is now safer than ever thanks to the expanding bike network, with over 22km of separated cycleways.
Order a free map to discover our full bike network and plan your journey.
You can also boost your bike riding confidence with a cycling skills or guided rides.