The NSW Government today released its Sydney City Centre Access Strategy - a plan to improve all transport modes within our city centre.
It's terrific that the Government is getting serious about reducing congestion and improving transport in Sydney.
The Strategy gives us a blueprint to improve the experience of residents, workers and visitors who are currently making over one million trips daily to, from and within the city each day.
We will work closely with the Government to jointly deliver bus lanes and stops, taxi lanes and changes to parking and ensure these are coordinated with other planned works.
The strategy also provides direction for the next group of cycleways to be designed and built. We need to get cracking so that the 31,600 City of Sydney residents currently on a bike ever week have the infrastructure they need to stay safe on the road.
Priority routes will be the remaining section of Kent Street, connecting North Sydney with Darling Harbour/Chinatown and the major businesses along the western edge of the CBD.
Other priority routes will be the southern side of Liverpool Street from Darling Harbour to Kent Street, and the northern side of Liverpool Street from Kent Street to Elizabeth Street.
The Government has a target of doubling local and district trips by bike by 2016 and the City's work to build a network of safe, separated cycleways will be essential if they want to meet that target.
The strategy balances competing demands for limited road space and delivers better public transport options while reducing congestion for those with no option other than to drive.
I am particularly supportive of plans to introduce 40km/h speed limits to improve safety and the confirmation of a route for a connected bicycle network in the city centre.
The access strategy also enables:
â€¢ Construction on Campbell Street to commence in early 2014 - linking the Bourke Street cycleway to Kent Street, via Campbell, Castlereagh and Liverpool Streets; and
â€¢ An opportunity to deliver a separated cycleway in Park Street, extending the existing bike facility in William Street to get cyclists to Castlereagh Street.
The timing of the roll-out of Castlereagh, Pitt and King Streets would depend on Light Rail construction along George Street. We want to minimise disruption and avoid simultaneous construction of light rail and cycleways on those key streets.