Lilyfield Road bike route - the latest Concept Plans

Two cycleway options are presented.

The first is the original cycleway plan presented in 2017-2018 with its two one-way sections, Balmain Road to Norton Street and Gordon Street to Victoria Road, the bi-directional cycleway and accompanying loss of 136 parking spaces. It is admitted that this plan is unlikely to be popular.

The second option is to leave Lilyfield Road unchanged except to move the bike lane from one side of Lilyfield Road to the opposite, up-hill, side in two places and also to fix the pedestrian crossing at Grove Street so that pedestrians are more visible to eastbound traffic.

Also presented for comment are four supplementary cycle routes which start and/or finish at Lilyfield Road but otherwise bypass it. Two of these routes commence on the other side of the Inner West Council area adjacent to Timbrell Park and finish at Balmain Road. Another route goes via LPAC and Wharf Road, to avoid the steep hill in Lilyfield Road.

I prefer the third which is a route behind the City West Link (CWL) noise wall from Charles Street to Henry Street or even Derbyshire Road. It uses an existing shared path for most of the route and existing pedestrian crossings and footpath along the CWL between James and Norton Streets. This route takes advantage of the gentle CWL gradient to avoid the Lilyfield Road hill. The hill in Charles Street could be avoided by extending the route  west, behind the CWL noise wall, to Canal Road.

The Lilyfield Road Feasibility Report is now on exhibition until Sunday 25 September 2019. You can see more detail here -

As part of the exhibition the following drop-in information sessions will be held to answer any questions:

Wednesday, 4 September 2019 6.30 - 8.30pm at Centurion Lounge, Leichhardt Oval, Mary Street Lilyfield

Saturday, 7 September 2019 2 - 4pm on the pedestrian/cycleway bridge over Hawthorn Canal, Lilyfield Road, Lilyfield

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Keep the Lilyfield bike route as it is except for the following modifications:

[1] The two up-hill sections of the bike route which have no bike lane in the up-hill direction but rather in the down-hill direction should swap the bike lane over from down-hill to up-hill.

These are the up-hill sections from James Street to Rayner Street and from Justin Street to just beyond the blind corner after Ryan Street. In this latter case, it may be advisable to keep a section of the existing bike lane in the vicinity of the blind corner and this may necessitate the loss of two or three parking spaces on the southern side of Lilyfield Road.

[2] The pedestrian crossing at Grove Street needs the northern access raised to curb level so that pedestrians can be seen by eastbound traffic. To this end, the flowerbed may need to be reduced in size.

[3] I am happy with the proposal to paint a chevronned buffer strip on the parked car side of the bike lane in order to encourage cyclists to stay away from car doors.

I do not support any of the other proposed changes to the Lilyfield Road bike route and in particular the following.

[1] The attempt to confine cyclists to the extreme left hand side of the eastbound carriageway at the top of the hill at James Street using a concrete median. Cyclists will want to wait for a green light as near to the top of the hill as possible and there are often so many cyclists waiting that they will not fit in such a small space. I expect that many cyclists will just fill the left-most lane as they do now, regardless of any median.

A similar situation exists travelling west at James Street. In this case cyclists will take off fast and travel fast down hill ahead of cars.

[2] Footpath extensions at Charles Street will serve no purpose. All that is needed is a stop line. Charles Street has relatively good vision up hill. It is the streets and laneways to the east of Charles Street that have visibility problems.

[3] There is no need to modify James Street northbound.

[4] There already exists a bike lane from Mary Street eastbound along Lilyfield Road. No cyclist will use a short shared path under the shop awning.

[5] Curb extensions are of no use to cyclists at Catherine Street.

Supplementary Routes

The problems and solutions are as follows:

Route 1 The foreshadowed IWC Greenway plans will improve the tight access at the western end of the Hawthorn bridge.

Route 2 No problems.

Route 4 The one way section through the private section of Church Street in Callan park needs to be made two way for cyclists.

Route 3 This route should replace the parallel section of Lilyfield Road for novice and beginner cyclists. It replaces the steep hill with the much gentler gradient of the City West Link (CWL) yet is entirely off-road using existing shared paths behind the CWL northern noise wall and existing crossings of James and Norton Streets.

I suggest that the route could be improved at no cost by extending it eastwards to use Derbyshire Road rather than Henry Street.

To avoid the right hand turn into Charles Street travelling westwards as well as the hill in Charles Street, the route could be extended, behind the CWL noise wall, from Charles Street to Canal Road. The land required is all under RMS ownership. It would be necessary to move about 15m of the noise wall about 1m towards the CWL, lining up with the rest of the northern CWL noise wall to provide more width. A path with lighting would have to be constructed.


Thanks for putting this up Bill. 

The most detail is in the Feasibility Report 

id like to see some diagrams of what’s proposed, a bit hard to follow in just words. 

The kerb median you refer to at Mary St lights may just be those low profile “bicycle kerbs”, ie a yellow plastic rideable separator, rather than a high concrete kerb. These are the details we need to know. No need for that right turn arrow for cars heading into James  too, I’d say. That way cars going straight eastbound can stay in the throughtraffic lane. Can you get a photo of cyclists queuing at MarySt? Police have been known to wait there for any cyclists not obeying the lights.

I asked for plans but these location maps are literally all they have. What they say about James northbound doesn't make sense, perhaps they meant James eastbound? The quality and amount of effort evidenced in this Feasability Report is woeful. Did this report also cost $500,000 like the last two? Bob, we could have done a better one for the price of two coffees at Bar Italia.

The diagram shows and the text is explicit - 400mm x 150mm concrete medians not flimsy plastic. The idea is to push cyclists out of the way of the car traffic, there is only a short green time.

The delays for eastbound traffic are really too long. James Street gets a green even when traffic is banked up around the corner into Perry Street and the right turn into Mary Street gets 50%. It is much quicker to cross down at the CWL (travelling via the "noise walls" route) as the CWL gets green most of the time.

Another thing that will potentially affect things is the proposal aired on Chanel 7 a few weeks ago for a footy stadium in the new railyard parklands, opposite Easton Park. AFL and ARL apparently pushing for it. No doubt they would want Lilyfield Rd for parking. It would also mean cycleways through the park might need lengthy diversions around it. The Mayor is a big footy fan, but I hope the need for open space (and unfortunately Westconn smoke stacks) prevails.

We should ask for bike route details tonight at the WCX info session: 4 to 5:30 ans also 6 to 7:30pm at the WCX office corner of Gordon and Lilyfield Rd (68 Lilyfield Road).

A new preliminary proposal [1] for this cycleway is to come before the Traffic Committee on 4/11/19.

I believe Westconnex (WCX) will demolish the Victoria Road pedestrian bridge, the vital link from any cycleway linking the end of Lilyfield Road to the Anzac Bridge/ CBD at the end of this year. In its place WCX will eventually build a cycle path which will start at the railyard opposite Lamb Street, bypassing the eastern 925m of the 2.7km of Lilyfield Road, from Lamb Street to Victoria Road.

I don't know how cyclists will get to the Anzac Bridge when the Victoria Road shared bridge goes. The route to the southern CBD from Catherine Street to Brenan Street and through the light rail underpass to The Crescent will remain open and so perhaps might become a temporary route to the Anzac Bridge

Community engagement on the new preliminary proposal amounted to 26 emails and 188 responses on the Your Say website. Of these 188, 47% opposed any plans with one-way sections (the Report’s Option B) and 13% thought everything should be left as is. The remainder mostly preferred some part of Option A where Lilyfield Road remains as up-hill bike lane / mixed traffic .

Four “supplementary routes” were included to provide ways of bypassing the steep hill between Canal Road and James Street. There was little interest in this section with 18 responses opposing all of them and between four and twelve responses in favour of a particular route.

I did suggest extending Route 3 westwards from the southern end of Charles Street to Canal Road. I wonder if this modification had been included whether Route 3 would have come first rather than second. It seems that routes 2 and 4, which were favoured by local bike group representatives, will be proceeded with.

Complete Urban’s Report

It is disappointing to see evidence in Complete Urban’s Report of confused thinking [2] and lack of proof reading[3].


[2]  Feasibility Report   “The two northbound lanes at James Street are changed to only one left turn lane into Lilyfield Road since the parking lane is to be removed as mentioned above. Currently there are no pavement arrows on James Street northbound”

[3]  Supplementary Route Assessment 4.5.5 (misplaced in the wrong route description) “The Balmain Road/City-West Link intersection southbound has no pedestrian traffic signals meaning three stages of signalised crossings are required to cross City-West Link Road.”  

[3] Feasibility Report : “(one-way traffic westbound)” should read “(one-way traffic eastbound)”

Next step, if the TC accepts option A approach, will be to do a more detailed design, improving the existing layout, which isn’t completely consistent and certainly has some safety issues. The uphill near Lamb St doesn’t have a bike lane for instance. Putting one in would IMO reduce close passing there, which is on a crest and bend... Also the section from Rayner to Norton is downhill and has a bike lane, better to reverse this and have the bike lane eastbound instead, where morning peak cyclists would benefit more. Then there is the wasted space where trailers are banned and very few cars are parked. Reallocating that could allow a bike lane from Ryan to Denison. Etc etc, I’m hoping the traffic engineers can see this. 

Re para 2 on Westconn, the temporary routes are all revealed in the thread on The Crescent. Once the footbridge goes (now in about May next year) cyclists will still be able to use Lilyfield Rd, even when they demolish the other footbridge in 2021. Have to turn right on Vic Rd footpath, cross at the lights and go backwards on The Crescent to James Craig Drive.  Or use Gordon St to Victoria Rd, at times when the path to the Anzac Bridge isn’t being demolished or rebuilt, or Catherine/ Brenan/ to James Craig Drive, until that route is cut at what used to be Buruwan Park, then it’s Gordon, unless you head up steep Bayview or Hutchinson to Annandale St. Better explained on the slides! 

So, eastern section of Lilyfield Rd will still be needed until 2023-24,  until the link through the Parklands is built, unless everyone either stops riding or goes via Annandale and Glebe- Pyrmont Bridge Rd campaign anyone? upgrade for Booth St?

I like the idea of campaigns, when we know what to ask for. So this one makes sense.

Another Thing I would like to understand is how to make sure that the instant traffic on Viccy Road is reduced by 50% as claimed with the new road, barriers go in to reclaim redundant Surface lanes to accommodate Walking, Cycling and People space. If the road doesn't shrink at once, car overuse will seize it. I suppose our councils and state Government are working on this, who can we 'help'?

Related to both campaigns, how About we seek a permanent Pollution Monitoring Station or two ? Near the Sources, and where People are not hidden away as far as possible.

The nearest monitoring station is in Callan Park, opposite the Kirkbride building. The next nearest is at the corner of Grafton and Adolphus Streets in Balmain, run by the Ports Authority. Both sites put their results on the web: Callan Park is updated daily, the Balmain results are almost in real time.

All of These are located to achieve Minimum readings, no?

I think Callan park station was installed to measure average inner west levels and Grafton Street because the locals were complaining about the diesel smoke from the cruise liners at the adjacent Cruise Terminal. Their locations are sufficiently remote from the sources of pollution (Victoria and other roads, cruise liner funnels) to be representative of what would occur in neighbouring back yards.

Certainly, pollution measured at the road side could be quite different, either much worse or much better depending on which way the wind was blowing. This is certainly the case at Grafton Street, where I have measured levels of particulates using a P-Trak model 8525 ranging from average inner west (northerly wind) to off the scale and you can taste it (south easterly).

It is claimed that what you breath on a bicycle can be a lot cleaner than what adjacent car drivers breath as a cyclist is further off the ground and not immediately behind the exhaust pipe of the car in front.

No doubt we cyclists are doing our bit for Sydney pollution levels as we breath the air in and breath it out slightly cleaner.

Anyone commute on Lilyfield Rd this morning? It’s very bumpy due to the cable laying trench. I asked John Holland to institute a 30 K work zone and maybe provide a proper bike lane detour (could use the parking lane  on the right hand side, it’s mainly taken up by Westconn workers private vehicles) but no response. Anyone having problems please drop in to the site office near Gordon St and complain and email


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