(2pm, Tuesday 10 June 2014, Kent Street)
Thank you, Dr Collier [MC]. Good afternoon, everyone.
I'd also like to acknowledge:
- The Rev Dr Colin Bale, Chairman of the School
- Ms Liz Hurley, President of the P&C Association
- St Andrew's School staff
- Monica Barone, CEO of the City of Sydney
- Michael Leyland and City staff
- The construction team and Juan Vargas, Project Manager of Sydney Civil Pty Ltd
Cutting the ribbon just now marked the completion of the missing link of our Kent Street Cycleway. The planning for it began in 2006 and has involved close liaison with the school to design the Druitt to Bathurst Street leg, to make it as safe as possible for the students.
With the State Government now recognising the necessity for a cycle route through the city, work to complete the centre network is forging ahead.
With limited road space in the city, and the light-rail construction due to start in about 12 months' time, the more people who can shift to walking and cycling the better for everyone - including those who need to drive. And the walkers and cyclists of course, get the added health benefits.
Across the City, we're finding more and more people are cycling converts. There's been a 132 per cent increase in bike trips in the City over the last four years. In some areas, like Bourke Street, it's even higher, and the separated cycleway allows even primary school children to bike to school.
If any of you are keen to develop cycling skills, we run free courses - including for families during the school holidays, and we also run bike maintenance courses.
The courses teach safe, responsible and courteous riding, and we're sending staff to different locations four times a week to talk to both riders and pedestrians about sharing paths.
And when new infrastructure opens, as with this section outside the school, there will be extra staff around to help everyone get used to the new conditions.
So I'd like once again to thank the school for its help with this project which will ultimately benefit everyone who comes to our city on a daily basis.