JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Call to halt 'white elephant' bridge across Anzac Parade

Plans drawing the ire of locals: An artist's impression of the bridge.

Plans drawing the ire of locals: An artist's impression of the bridge. Photo: Supplied

Support is crumbling for a $25 million bridge across Anzac Parade near Sydney Cricket Ground, with transport lobby groups and the City of Sydney calling for an urgent halt to construction.

The government is attempting to get the bridge built in time for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, and this week said building work had started on the project. But plans for the bridge continue to draw the ire of locals and people who might be expected to use it, and key backers the government had been relying on are pulling away.

One of the main complaints about the bridge is that it is not being built where people want to walk. The majority of people who walk between Central Station and the SCG cross Anzac Parade at Fitzroy Street, one block away from where the bridge is planned.

Roads and Maritime Services says it will use signs to direct pedestrians to the bridge.

Another complaint about the bridge, to be named after former Test cricketer Albert ''Tibby'' Cotter, is that it will not connect to the cycleway on Anzac Parade.

In promoting the bridge plan in April, Roads and Maritime Services said: ''Bicycle NSW and the City of Sydney have been consulted and are supportive of the plan.''

Both organisations want construction suspended.

''It needs further review,'' said Sophie Bartho, communications director at Bicycle NSW. ''The fact that the bridge and the existing cycle path are not directly connected is a major concern.''

Lord mayor Clover Moore has written to the government requesting it call a halt to work on the bridge, which risked becoming ''an expensive white elephant''.

''I was shocked to find Roads and Maritime Services approved the proposed bridge on May 14 with two minor design changes,'' Cr Moore said. ''Just days later early work has begun, blocking off a large section of parkland.''

On Monday Roads Minister Duncan Gay, Sports Minister Stuart Ayres and chairman of the SCG Trust Tony Shepherd announced the start of work on the project. The SCG Trust partly supports the project so it can use the western side of Moore Park for car parking. The bridge would allow people who have parked on Moore Park to cross easily to the SCG.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Gay said ''everyone likes'' the bridge. ''It has a good name, it is a great design and it is in the right place.''

The bridge is also opposed by the Paddington Society, Action for Public Transport, the Centennial Park Residents Association and BikeSydney.

A spokeswoman for Mr Gay said the government had already signed contracts for early building works on the project.

123 comments so far

  • Could only have been conceived by a National Party MP. You ought to see the sort of things they do or don't do for their constituents on the North Coast. When are their pasted on supporters going to wake up to their irrelevance. They are becoming more of a nuisance than anything these days and in this case a $25m nuisance.

    Commenter
    RTP
    Location
    Sawtell
    Date and time
    May 22, 2014, 11:53AM
    • I sincerely doubt any MP came up with the idea. Clearly this is something the SCG Trust have pushed for.

      And let's be clear here, the points raised in the article are shaky at best and mostly downright misleading. Of course everyone walks up Fitzroy St, there are barricades along both sides of Anzac Pde that prevent anyone from taking a more direct route. This new bridge will offer a far more direct route between the SCG and Central, down Parkham and Devonshire Sts. It is also positioned to link up with the proposed light rail tunnel under Moore Park so moving it would be stupid. As to cycleways, or a shared path to be precise, it doesn't connect to the Anzac Pde path but it does connect to a path that crosses the park that will connect you to both the Anzac Pde path and the Sth Dowling St path.

      Ultimately this bridge is going to split pedestrian and cycle traffic so instead of everyone using Fitzroy St, the crowds will be spread between the new bridge/Devonshire St, leading to the southern entrance to Central, and the existing Fitzroy St route that leads to the northern entrance to Central. In future the bridge will also connect to light rail and it offers access to all the cycle paths in the vicinity. I think it is going to be a massive boost for the SCG precinct that will also manage the flow of people in and out much, much better. The only reason the locals are complaining is because it is not being built for them, it's being built for everyone who lives in or visits Sydney.

      Commenter
      MotorMouth
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 22, 2014, 1:24PM
    • Motormouth. You are completely incorrect. The quickest way to walk is straight uphill and along Firzroy. That us why people walk that way. What next, once bridge is on top of park? A small car park perhaps? The SCG have been pushing for Moore Park to be concreted for years. I think you have a vested interest. Is that true?

      Commenter
      Darren
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 22, 2014, 2:01PM
    • @ Darren - that all depends which way you come out of Central. At the moment everyone would aim for the northern entrance but I'm sure if they were given a choice they would prefer to exit via the southern entrance, right at the bottom of Devonshire St. It is easier to get across Elizabeth St, you don't have to cross Riley St and both Crown and Bourke Sts are much quieter in that section, making it a much better route. If you go that way and it is also a much more pleasant walk up a quieter, tree-lined street. As I said, it will split the foot traffic, making it easier for everyone to choose whichever route suits them best. I know which way I'll be going, you're welcome to Foveaux St if you really want it.

      Commenter
      MotorMouth
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 22, 2014, 4:32PM
    • Another thing the article didn't mention is that a second bridge is already to be built 50 metres down the road that directly links to the SCG/Stadium walkway as part of the Light Rail Project, at the request of Sydney Boys School.

      So not only is this going to be a white elephant, its going to be a duplication of another new bridge, that has a purpose and will be in the right spot.

      Or to mix a metaphore, Duncan Gay's right hand not talking to Glady's left.

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 22, 2014, 4:44PM
    • Darren, you are incorrect - while fitzroy st is quicker now, it he Devonshire St route is quicker with a path over ANZAC Parade - you may not remember but before ANZAC Parade was fenced the majority of foot traffic went up Devonshire St.

      Commenter
      Dave
      Date and time
      May 22, 2014, 5:29PM
    • I do need to clarify, no matter what the SGC Trust would like, it is an MP who conceives the project so it can go forward as it is a government project. I repeat only a National Party MP could be so easily convinced of something so silly.

      Commenter
      RTP
      Location
      Sawtell
      Date and time
      May 22, 2014, 6:31PM
    • Thus is just a typical monumental stuff up by Roads & Maritimes Services (you can change their name, but they remain useless).

      Just near me they are spending $1.5m to build a pedestrian crossing to Green Sq station. They ignored community input (didn't even acknowledge submissions!), and are building it in such a way that people will have to make four road crossings to get across two streets! Plus the crossings they are building are not where people actually cross the road anyway!

      (So needless to say it won't be used, and pedestrians will continue to cross where they do now)

      On the upside, the design is such that it will have maximum impact on traffic flow along o'rierdan st .. so making travel to/from the airport even worse.

      Commenter
      rob1966
      Date and time
      May 22, 2014, 6:40PM
  • "Speaking in Parliament, Mr Gay said ''everyone likes'' the bridge"

    You don't speak for me, Mr. Gay. So please don't presume to do so.

    Commenter
    DenisPC9
    Location
    New England Region
    Date and time
    May 22, 2014, 11:55AM
    • +1

      What planet does Gay come from? Who on earth is advising him? There is a desperate need to link the Anzac Pde bike path to the Burke St cycleway. Hundreds of cyclists would use this every single day! At the moment all cyclist have to compete with Buses in both the North and South direction to get across the MorrePark Rd/Flinders St intersection. It is inevitable that serious accidents will occur at this point.

      Here is a once in a life time opportunity to potentially save lives. Instead the money is being funneled in to an eyesore that spoils the park and will only be used for an occcasional sporting match. How can that possibly be more deserving of public funding?

      Oh I forgot, its Duncan Gay. His answer to prevent the number of cyclists being killed by cars, is to licence cyclists!!

      Commenter
      Panaitan
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 22, 2014, 1:55PM

More comments

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Featured advertisers

Special offers

Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo