The large area of unused railway and port land from White Bay running west back up to the railway cutting under Balmain Rd (called the Bays Precinct) is gradually being carved up for redevelopment and reuse.
There are great opportunities to get new and improved bike routes through the area.
The Sydney Metro to Rozelle was cancelled in early 2010 but a Sydney to Parramatta line is being planned [approved in 2020] with stops at White Bay and Leichhardt. Westconnex M4-M5 is building road tunnel exits and entrances in the Railyards near The Crescent and this will include a linear park with bike paths along and across the remainder of the Railyards. See UDLP for Railyards Park.
Urban Growth NSW (now defunct) was planning to redevelop the White Bay power station and nearby waterfront, including the Rozelle Railyard, but wasn’t able to attract private investment. Westconnex took over the Railyard area.
Sydney Ports built the Cruise Passenger Terminal in 2010, a facility for cruise ships to dock at in White Bay. It required an access road in from James Craig Drive under the ANZAC Bridge and we asked for a bike path as well, to provide a direct and flatter route from the ANZAC Bridge to Robert St in Rozelle. No path was included but the EIS stated that nothing should be done to preclude one in the future.
The old Glebe Island Bridge looked like being demolished, but in March 2016 was placed on the Heritage List and could be retained for adaptive reuse. [As of 2020 its future remains unclear, although most planning documents for the area, and local Councils, support its eventual reuse.]
Here are some potential cycle routes we have identified that planners might consider :
(1) the continuation of the Greenway from Hawthorne Canal next to the light rail line through the deep railway cutting under Balmain Rd and eastward in the Railyard, under Victoria Rd, to link with the Anzac Bridge Cycleway;
(2) a cycleway from end of Gordon St in Rozelle, under the Victoria Rd bridge and again linking with the Anzac Bridge, or old Glebe Island bridge;
(3) a cycle and pedestrian bridge across the goods yard from Gordon St or Easton Park to The Crescent.
(4) a cycleway from Robert St, Rozelle, across the railway goods line to the Anzac Bridge or to the old Glebe Island Bridge, which could be reopened as a foot/cycle route into Pyrmont and the City, saving the lengthy climb over Anzac Bridge.
Robert Johnson prepared a more detailed concept plan (bays_precinct_bikeplanv6.doc) for bikeways in the area, for discussion at the BAC. This plan was adopted by Leichhardt Council, and has since been supported by Inner West Council, so good work Robert!
Notes and comments since we put these ideas forward:
(1): The light rail extension was approved and built through the cutting to Leichhardt and Summer Hill but with no cycle path. The Greenway Project advocated shared use of the rail lines. The City West Cycle Link concept by Bike Sydney involves excavating a space for a bike path next to the tracks, into the sandstone wall of the cutting. See under Campaigns for details. Note added in 2020: Construction of the Light Rail depot in the Railyard and the MOC for Westconnex tunnels has seemingly blocked a level connection to the Railyard Park, even if the railway cutting path was built.
A variation on the CWCL involving a tunnel from near Hawthorne Canal to near Catherine St that avoids the railway completely was proposed but not given much consideration. Problems with security in tunnels cited.
Another variation, a path outside the CWL sound wall, has some support.
(2) The back street cycle route from the new Iron Cove Bridge (sign posted in early 2011) runs along Waterloo, Darling, Red Lion, Kennif, Quirk, Gordon, and could avoid the narrow Lilyfield Rd footbridge if there was a direct link from foot of Gordon St to the Anzac Bridge cycleway, going under the Victoria Rd road bridge. [Lilyfield Rd footbridge demolished in 2020 as part of Westconnex project]
A condition of consent E58 for one of the Westconnex projects (Iron Cove Link) is to provide a cycleway along Victoria Rd or corridor. As of August 2020 no agreement on how this will be achieved has been reached. Inner West Council has argued that the claimed reduction in traffic on Victoria Rd due to the Westconnex tunnels should allow a lane to be converted to a cycleway. TfNSW is doing a study. Even if this was agreed to, which side of Victoria Rd would be best? Bike lanes or separated two way path, or some combination?
(3) This would be very convenient for cyclists from Lilyfield north of the goods line, who now have only Catherine St to cross on.
(The cycle bridge idea was taken up by Westconnex in their EIS in May 2017, and involved a horseshoe bridge across the City West Link to the foreshore. This bridge was retracted in 2020 in favour of a bridge to the Light rail station and a down ramp to The Crescent, on the inland side, in the “mod 2“ to the EIS. In addition, a bridge over the CWL has been approved from Brenan St to Lilyfield Rd. Preliminary works have already started at Brenan St.);
(4) Also very convenient for people in Rozelle and Balmain, as it cuts out the hill around the old power station and the narrow footpath past the bus shelters on Victoria Rd.
To progress this campaign we need to put the ideas in front of the planners and politicians, and oppose any stupid uses of the goods area, like an M4 extension. [Stupid won] Look out for opportunities to talk to politicians, reporters, planners, etc about the Masterplan and certainly put in a submission when it gets to being made public. See the BikeSydney site for details.
The following is now History! All Metro plans cancelled. [Note added in 2017- the CBD to Parramatta Metro has just been revived!]
New Rozelle Metro line announced. (Oct 2008)
A new rail line from Central to Rozelle has just been announced. A station will be built under Victoria Rd at Darling St. Another station mat be built at White Bay near the old power station.The plans say that cycling will be encouraged to stations, so this may assist our case at White Bay and the Victoria Rd Update campaign. Thinking very wishfully, an underground station at Rozelle with bicycle access could allow for a tunnel under Darling St along Victoria Rd. This would solve several problems at Darling St, and cut out a fair bit of the hill!
The Preliminary Environmental Assessment is here, see section 2.4 on Stations.
See further progress in the Comments section below. LBUG has had talks with the Metro people, about cycling routes through Rozelle, secure parking for bicycles at the stations, maybe even a cycle repair centre in the underground.
We are also campaigning for carriage of bikes on the Metro, as is the case with City Rail , Light Rail and ferries. This is important to have designed in at the start if the Metro ever gets extended to a bigger system as intended. See the Carriage of Bicycles on Sydney Metro document we put together, describing what happens around the world on Metros, and comment 3 (Aug 4) below on the Government’s own policies.
CBD West Metro – Sept 2009
Added to the Rozelle to Central Metro proposal is a line from Central to Parramatta. Another round of EA’s and submissions! The west Metro will have an underground stop in Leichhardt, near the Forum and the Parramatta Rd end of Balmain Rd. They will need to improve access for cyclists. Opportunities will arise to get a long standing part of the Leichhardt Bike Plan implemented in this area, such as a bike route along Dot Lane behind the Forum, connecting Norton St and Balmain Rd, and another connection from Balmain Rd to Redmond St and Catherine St. (only thing stopping this now is a locked gate behind the Forum and a fence behind the Stag Hotel.)
Bicycle NSW did a submission to the Metro Authority