Cyclists will be banned on George Street between Town Hall and Wynyard, just weeks before the CBD Light Rail is set to open.
The ban will also affect areas along the light rail route where there is no adjacent roadway, including important connections in Surry Hills and Haymarket, and also bans cyclists from existing connections on the Inner West Light Rail at Hay Street.
Rather than properly design and plan for safety technology that would keep the busy corridor open for cyclists, the Government has opted for a blanket ban that will make it harder for people to walk and ride in the city.
Stakeholders have also warned that transport companies, financial businesses and restaurants will be affected, with bike couriers banned from the busiest business district in the city.
The ban follows a similar decision in Hunter Street, Newcastle, when a Government review deemed its own safety audit left cyclists exposed to an “intolerable risk.” The review followed the tragic death of experienced cyclist Danny Egan, who died when his bike tyre was caught in the light rail tracks, throwing him from his bike.
Labor Shadow Minister for Active Transport Jo Haylen said: “The Liberals failed to properly design the CBD Light Rail and now they’re scrambling to make the light rail safe for people who ride or walk.
“Light Rail on George Street is supposed to be about getting people out of their cars and onto public and active transport, but instead, the Government’s poor planning means cyclists are being kicked to the kerb.
“It’s clear that we need a fully separated, safe cycleway to connect the north and south of the CBD – something that the Government’s own plans identified for King and Castlereagh streets more than five years ago.
The Minister should commit to this link now and show that he’s genuine about increasing cycling rates, not just banning them from our streets because of his government’s incompetence.”