Future Transport Strategy 2061 is Out! – Bicycle NSW

A key diagram from the new Future Transport Strategy that explicitly supports the reallocation of road space, comparing the total number of people moved per hour in the same amount of space on a car-oriented street and a multimodal street (Source: TfNSW)

These kinds of road space reallocation projects are beginning to happen in our car-loving state. The Princes Highway at Sydney Park Junction is being trimmed from 6 lanes to 4, with reduced speed limits, separated cycleways and safer pedestrian crossings. Our very supportive submission is here.  Victoria Road in Rozelle is slated to be next in line for a makeover, following years of advocacy from Bicycle NSW and community groups.

Sadly, more suburban roads such as Kingsway in Sutherland are missing out, with plans to squeeze a shared path into pedestrian space while 6 wide vehicle lanes are left untouched.

Hopefully, we will soon see the end of narrow and impractical shared paths along arterial roads that compromise pedestrian safety and do nothing to challenge the dominance of private vehicles between the kerbs.

Next steps

Transport for NSW needs to set targets for mode shift and traffic stabilisation. The targets will be context specific and vary across different parts of the state. Without a goal to work towards, both state and local governments will be unfocused in efforts to reduce emissions and reclaim our public space for better things than car storage.

The strategic cycleway corridor networks for 5 of the 6 Cities are eagerly awaited, as are detailed plans for where exactly the cycleways will go.  The Active Transport team under Minister Stokes has publicly stated that state roads will be used where possible. This is great as these roads are generally direct, level and desperately need road space to be diverted from vehicle lanes to meet objectives around amenity, emissions and equity.

And then funding! Budgets have increased but are still tiny compared with the resources thrown at road projects. Councils are hamstrung and desperately need money, skills and manpower to complete active transport networks and upgrades.

We congratulate Transport for NSW for putting out such a forward-thinking plan in the run up to an election.

However, it is important to walk the talk.  Transport for NSW is a huge organisation.  Unfortunately, new ideas about movement and place will take a long time to filter down through the levels of bureaucracy.  Just two weeks after Future Transport was released, a proposal to ‘upgrade’ the Western Distributor has gone on exhibition.  The project will widen off-ramps and intersections to increase the capacity of the Anzac Bridge, funnelling yet more traffic into the city and impeding plans to make more walkable and liveable precincts in Pyrmont and Ultimo. Our concerns are here. This is the polar opposite for the strategy to stabilise traffic, reallocate road space away from vehicles and prioritise place!

And on the north side of the Harbour, Transport for NSW is barrelling ahead with the Warringah Freeway ‘upgrade’ without a concrete plan to leverage really good outcomes for active transport from the Government investment.  In fact, existing walking and cycling infrastructure is being removed!  Read more here.

Bicycle NSW will continue to push back against car-first planning and remind TfNSW of its great strategies and policies to prioritise walking and cycling.  Please support our advocacy work on active transport infrastructure across NSW by joining the Bicycle NSW family today.



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