Sydney cyclist Adam Spencer celebrates the opening of the new bike network extension in Redfern on Saturday.
The bicycle network in Sydney moved up a gear when the George St cycleway officially opened with a “Roll Through Redfern” on Saturday.
The new 2.4km cycleway was opened by Lord Mayor Clover Moore before hundreds of enthusiasts and links Zetland, Waterloo, Alexandria and Redfern with Central, providing north and south bicycle route integration.
Ms Moore said the growing number of people travelling on two wheels showed the importance of continuing to develop the network.
“With 40,000 residents expected to move to the area between now and 2030, it’s essential we create a mix of transport options including walking and cycling,” Ms Moore said.
“The George St cycleway is the latest section of our 200km bike network to be completed and we are working with the [New South Wales] Government to fast track other parts.”
Bicycle NSW spokeswoman Sophie Bartho said the cycling community was excited by the new link.
“The George St cycleway is an important milestone in Sydney’s growing cycling infrastructure and we welcome the opening,” Ms Bartho said.
“It is important for bicycle users and timely as popularity continues to grow.
“The George St cycleway is perfectly positioned to deliver greater transport choice to the 40,000 additional residents and 22,000 additional workers who will be based at Green Sq by 2030.”
Independent research found streets with separated cycleways, such as the George St development, saw the most growth in total trips made by bike, with a 408% increase on Bourke St, 327% on Kent St and 307% on College St, from March 2010 to March 2014.
Both the City and bicycle groups predict positive results for Redfern.
“We’ve worked closely with residents and local businesses along George St to ensure the street upgrade benefits everyone,” Ms Moore said.
City of Sydney cycling strategy manager Fiona Campbell said parking changes were “absolutely minimal” and business impacts were positive.
“Businesses along the route were very keen to take part,” Ms Campbell said.
“Many noted that having cyclists pass by would open up their business to new clients.”
Ms Bartho said retailers were likely to benefit from the increased accessibility of their business to bicycle owners.
“Consumers on bikes tend to be regular customers, they also tend to stay longer, spend more and return more. So the George St cycleway and future cycleway connections are great news for retailers.”