The city’s cycleway network has received a boost with works finalising on a 1.1km shared path along Watkins Street, Merewether, linking Glebe Road, The Junction, with Merewether Beach.
The 2.5m-wide shared path is the first stage of the City Centre to Merewether Cycleway project and features new and upgraded crossings making it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and upgrades to drainage.
Image: The Junction Public School Principal Cath Larkman, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Councillor John Mackenzie pictured at the new 1.1km shared path, in front of a new raised crossing which links the shared path to The Junction Public School.
The $3.1million project was brought forward last year after receiving a funding boost under Newcastle’s COVID-19 stimulus capital works budget. The NSW Government also committed $600,000 to the project under the 2020/21 Walking and Cycling Program.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the delivery of this significant cycleway project demonstrates City of Newcastle’s commitment to cementing Newcastle’s reputation as a cycling and pedestrian-friendly city.
“This 1.1km shared path is a demonstration of the City’s commitment to ensuring Newcastle continues to be a city which promotes and encourages active transport options,” Cr Nelmes said.
“Improved cycleways are a top priority for our community and I know this new link will be enjoyed by residents, commuters, students travelling to the nearby schools and those visiting this beautiful part of Newcastle.
“City of Newcastle will now commence planning for the second stage between the CBD and The Junction as part of the overall City Centre to Merewether Cycleway.”
Councillor John Mackenzie said it was clear that improving safety had been a key goal of everyone involved in the project.
“Improving safety has been a focus of the project and the raised crossings and wide path will provide both pedestrians and cyclists with a safe passage across what can be a busy road,” Mr Mackenzie said.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin MLC said the State Government is helping people who want to walk and cycle as part of their everyday commute and supporting an active and healthy lifestyle, while also helping to relieve congestion on the roads and public transport.
“This project is one of 32 active transport projects across the state, including 16 in regional areas that are being delivered over the next 12 months,” Mr Martin said.
In a busy month for City of Newcastle, the completion of the Merewether shared path follows the delivery of separated cycleways on Hunter Street. City of Newcastle is also in the process of undertaking shared pathway improvements on University Drive at Birmingham Gardens and improvements are being finalised along the shared pathway at the Warabrook Wetlands.