Callan Park is a large area of public parkland and historic buildings in Lilyfield, owned by the Dept of Health. Leichhardt Council sought control in about 2010 but as of 2021 this has not been agreed. The Council (now Inner West Council) developed a Plan of Management, which was never approved by the State Government. The Park is now under the control of Greater Sydney Parklands Authority.
A new landscape plan was exhibited in July 2020 by the State Govt. Many comments were made about the need for better cycling facilities. A bike path along the Balmain Rd frontage was included. Despite strong support, this bike path was not given funding in the four year program approved in the final plan, released in early 2021.
LBUG has attended meetings since 2010 and 2011 and put in a preliminary submission for improved roads and access for cyclists. It could be a great place to cycle around, but roads have deteriorated badly and need urgent repairs. [Note added in Sept 2012– the Dept of Health, through its agency SHFA, has been repairing some of the roads lately, but still a lot to do, and they seem to be leaving certain sections as de facto traffic controls to stop weekend or nightime stupidity by “hoons”.]
2011 final submission is here. [Since then we have participated in the consultation by Tyrells for a new Park plan, and met with the Minister’s advisor in 2017 and supplied her with an updated submission on improved bicycling conditions in the park, with a reiteration of the need for a Balmain Rd bypass route, either along the park frontage or on internal roads (Garden Rd to South Cr to Park Dr to Cecily St gates).]
Recreational and sporting clubs were asked to nominate facilities that could be provided or improved in Callan Park. LBUG identified a cycle path inside the brick wall along the Balmain Rd/Darling St frontage, along the line of a dirt track between a row of shady trees. This could run from the Ambulance HQ car park to the main gate at Cecily St, providing almost a kilometre of off-road alternative to the busy main road. A further connection is available behind the Ambulance HQ via Garden Way, to connect with Wharf Rd, and then to Balmain Rd at Perry St. See map. The path along Balmain Rd frontage was included in the Draft Masterplan but was dropped in the final Masterplan, without consultation. The Council approved a sign posted route on internal roads, from Garden Way off Wharf Rd to Cecily St gate, as a low stress alternative to Balmain Rd. This failed to eventuate due to loss of impetus during the Council amalgamation period.
There is a need for a children’s learning circuit in the area, and a place in Callan Park could be found- such as the flat grassed area next to Balmain Rd, opposite Grove St. Another good area on a quiet weekend is the Ambulance HQ car park off Balmain Rd, or the car park behind the Kirkbride Building (western side of the main College of the Arts building). This car park is huge and flat and is not used much on weekends- ideal for youngsters to learn on. [Note in July 2020, this car park is earmarked for weekend overflow use, under the new Landscape plan].
Anthony Challinor at Velofix in Rozelle put forward the idea of holding a bike race around the main Kirkbride buildings (a criterium, or circuit race). This would be run by the professional road racing clubs, with full insurance etc to cover the event. The idea didn’t gain traction, but the road around the Kirkbride complex is a good circuit for recreational cyclists as it is.
Please write to the Council supporting the above. (can email the mayor at email@example.com), or contact your local councillor, and email the council as below.
* by email to council@innerwest. nsw.gov.au
can also email StateGovt to complain about the roads and potholes at
LBUG final submission is here (done in conjunction with Bike Sydney).