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Friday, April 23, 2021

Pedal power streets ahead in Newcastle

New cycleway infrastructure in Newcastle has received the “thumbs up”.

And, the latest development of a path along Hunter Street, in the west end of town, is expected to enhance the city’s reputation as “cycling friendly”, with construction scheduled to start mid-year.

The work comes on top of the cycleway bypass at Queens Wharf, which was also funded by NSW Government’s Streets as Shared Spaces initiative. 

The Hunter Street West End Cycleway received $525,000 and will trial a range of features between National Park Street and Worth Place, including two single direction cycleways that will be considered as an option in the City Centre Revitalisation West End Stage Two development. 

The project follows the successful completion of the Queens Wharf Cycleway Bypass last month, which garnered $100,000 in funding from the program.

It provides cyclists with a safe three-metre wide shared pathway one block behind the high-traffic main street to provide safe access through the area. 

NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes was glad to witness the changes.

“Active transport is something I am passionate about and it’s wonderful to see City of Newcastle using our $15 million Streets as Shared Spaces funding to create these types of public spaces,” he said.

“The program was designed to enable the creation of safe and enjoyable areas in the wake of the pandemic and will make a positive difference to our cities and suburbs for years to come.”  

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said funding support for similar projects allowed cycling to play an important role within Newcastle’s transport mix. 

“Cycling is a genuine transport option for families, commuters and recreational users, which is why expansion and improvement of the cycleway network is essential and why it stands as one of the City’s priority projects,” she explained.

“The Streets as Shared Spaces initiative has allowed us to trial a solution that makes it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to get around the Queens Wharf precinct.

“The Hunter Street West End Cycleway trial will provide connections to several key north and south links, which will augment Newcastle’s inner-city cycleway network.” 

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin MLC said quality cycling and transport infrastructure would benefit residents and visitors to Newcastle.

“Creating safer ways for cyclists to get around our city will ensure that people who want to use active transport are able to,” he added.

The Streets as Shared Spaces initiative has provided funding to 48 projects across the state and encourages new and improved pedestrian and active transport links. 

Works on the Hunter Street West End Cycleway trial are scheduled to start in mid-2021 and take several months to complete.

To follow its progress visit www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/works

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