Cycling in Sydney Australia
From 5th February 2016, the M2 shoulder westbound between Pennant Hills Rd and Windsor Rd is closed to cyclists for the next 2 years! Road works for the NorthConnex intersection (and an extra M2 traffic lane westbound as a result) are given as the reason.
Riding the M2 yesterday, I came across signs at the PH Rd off ramp directing all bicycles off the M2. Similar signs at the on ramp from PH Rd to the M2, along with barriers closing the shoulder, make it very clear...
So, after finding some documentation (http://northconnex.com.au/docs/BIKE%20DETOUR%20AD%20%2814.01.16%29%... and http://northconnex.com.au/docs/N0078%20LETTER%20_M2%20Cycle%20Diver...), nothing on the M2 site of course, I decided to follow the "detour". It replaces an undulating 6.3 km section of shoulder (1 intersection) with an 11.1 hilly section of main roads and back streets (65 intersections, 3 crossings at lights and at least 4 short hills over 10%) - not so much a detour as a "bugger off we don't want you".
The detour is at least relatively well signposted, other than the final left turn into Junction Rd. It took me 37 minutes (as opposed to my normal 11 minutes on the M2 shoulder), so if you're heading westbound on the M2, allow at least an extra 20 minutes for the pleasure of this back street diversion. And of course be wary of the additional traffic, pedestrians, schoolkids, prams, speedhumps, chicanes and roundabouts.
NorthConnex pitches that it will return "local streets to local communities". In the meantime, it's returning M2 cyclists to local streets...
Oh, and by the way, later this year (2016), the eastbound shoulder will be similarly closed to cyclists.
A year in construction is a long time...
In fact a "construction" year is at least two real years. North Connex now says the M2 will remain closed for bikes until 2020 (http://northconnex.com.au/construction.php). Ahhh, Sydney infrastructure.
And then in 2020, it will finally say that the M2 will remain closed for bikes as bikes don't pay the toll. Get back in your car and start paying.