Changes…

IMG_0550There have been many changes around Newcastle lately. The biggest one is the cutting of the rail line and terminating of trains at Hamilton. This has created a lot of havoc as it means the traffic around the station has doubled, with more pedestrians and now shuttle buses taking people into town after they get off the train. Bikes are not allowed on buses and many riders don’t know which way to ride safely into town. The Throsby creek path is not far away from there and is the safest way to get into town at present.IMG_0517

Other bike related projects are also progressing with the Bathers Way project along the sea front. This will connect all the beaches from Nobbys Beach and the harbour to Merewether Beach for both pedestrians and cyclists. The most spectacular part of this project is the Anzac Memorial Walk which accesses scenic views over both city and sea.

Photo credit: Newcastle Herald

Photo credit: Newcastle Herald


Meanwhile, however, Hunter Street languishes as decisions are not being made about the future of the rail line which may impact on how new bike paths are to be installed.
But that has not stopped the growing cycling culture in Newcastle.

IMG_0539Old bikes being restored and  ridden and new bikes all around town. See this shot taken outside Bank Corner Cafe, it was hard to find a place to lock up my bike that day …IMG_0543
And with a new bike shop opened right next door and murals around the corner in the laneway, it is working well as a place where people like to gather …IMG_0542
With state elections getting closer every day, promises for new bike lanes have been an election promise made by one of the major parties, demonstrating that the need to adopt cycling as transport is becoming a major issue in this region.

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6 Responses to Changes…

  1. anniebikes says:

    Full bike racks should speak for themselves. Bike projects are always too slow for my blood. However, hang in there and perhaps you’ll see more improvements.

  2. Sam Reich says:

    The Australian Cyclists Party is determined to put safe cycling infrastructure firmly on the agenda for the election, and get both major parties to back our plans. Labor’s Tim Crakanthorp has already expressed support for the cycle lanes on either side of Hunter Street. How about you, Karen Howard? Where do you stand? We need a healthy dollop of Hunter Infrastructure Investment Funding to get the CycleSafe Network underway. This is without doubt the best “bang per buck” of any infrastructure investment, as it will pay the state government back in significant public health savings.

    Vote 1 The Australian Cyclists Party

  3. Everyone in infrustructure-land seems to be out of sync with the ever growing urban cycling movement. Since the rail line has been cut it is much harder to cycle around Newcastle i.e. I used to catch the train to Wickham and ride down the ramp and then around the city. No more. Getting off at Hamilton is not for the nervous novice cyclist, the traffic is crazy and it’s unsettling being on the road. Although there is a bikepath not to far away which can be used, unless you know about it in advance there is no information which will point you to it. I checked with a bus driver when I got off at Hamilton with my bike a couple of months ago and he directed me to either Beaumont Street or Maitland Road as the way to ride into Newcastle. He didn’t know about the Throsby Creek path and at that time neither did I. Given that people will get off at Hamilton with bikes, couldn’t the bus drivers be given slips of paper to hand out with directions to the bike path? Or does that make them legally liable if anything happens? Where do bike paths fit in with the light rail plan? Can bikes go on light rail? questions, questions, questions!

    • Vicki says:

      Great questions Kimberley! A designated route into the city was mooted but was abandoned as it would just be a short term solution and apparently new bike lanes into the city are not far off so we have to wait for them. I would recommend cycling along Beaumont St then turning left at Dumaresq and head into town that way as it’s the shortest route. If you have more time or are not as confident in traffic, or would like a scenic ride, Throsby creek is the way to go. As far as the light rail goes, I dont know if bikes will be allowed on it, but hopefully by then we will have such good bike lanes that we’d rather ride anyway.

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