Bike riders and the Sydney Harbour Bridge steps
Calls for upgrades to the Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway

Bicycle Network is backing a proposal to add an extra bike lane to the Sydney Harbour Bridge to create more space for people who ride as lockdowns ease.

Bicycle User Group, Bike North is proposing that a car lane be replaced with a bike lane for south-bound traffic to meet 1.5 meter social distancing guidelines and support the increase in bike traffic due to the reduced capacity of the public transport system.

The proposal was also recently backed by The Committee for Sydney, whose members include major companies, universities, not-for-profits and government agencies.

Following the lead of cities across the world, the think tank told the Sydney Morning Herald that the city needed to grasp the opportunity to re-purpose streets and roads to make it easier for people to walk and cycle.

"A bike lane across the Harbour Bridge is a fantastic idea. It would make a huge statement, as well as creating one of the world's great urban bike paths," Committee for Sydney CEO Gabriel Metcalf said on Monday.

"Sydney is at a crossroads - we can choose more cars and congestion or healthier, active transport. If we create a network of safe places for people to cycle, it will make city life better for many generations to come."

The Sydney Harbour Bridge has long been a source of frustration for bike riders who are forced to the lug their bikes up and down 55 steps, a difficult task for the elderly, physically impaired and families with kids.

Bicycle Network General Manager for Public Affairs, Anthea Hargreaves, said that it now’s the perfect time to fix this critical link.

“Cities around the world are rapidly pivoting towards more bicycle-focused infrastructure because they know that it is the best solution for getting people back into the office while looking after their health,” said Ms Hargreaves.

“Pre-lockdown, the Sydney Harbour Bridge serviced thousands of bike riders every day. A restrictions ease, these numbers are set to grow significantly.”

“We need rapid and urgent changes to the bridge to ensure that these existing and new riders have accessible, safe and connected options.” 

The call come one day after it was announced more than 10 kilometres of pop-up bike lanes will be installed in the City of Sydney in the coming weeks as part of the NSW state government's plan to ease coronavirus restrictions.

Bicycle Network supports pop-up bikes as the way to build us out of this crisis.

Click here to find out more about Bicycle Network’s campaign for more space for bikes.

If you’ve got a great idea to upgrade infrastructure in you local area, the NSW Government is asking for suggestions. Have your say here