Save Our Rail has previous written about how Newcastle light rail would kill off cycleways along Hunter Street according to the leaked confidential “document 71”. A new article in the Newcastle Herald / Sydney Morning Herald reports that the government would cancel the construction of a bike lane down northern Castlereagh Street until after light rail was built, and also remove the existing bike lane on College Street.
But more information on how hundreds of buses will be re-routed through the city when construction starts on the tram line is not due to be released for months.
Mr Constance said work on the construction project, which should eventually enable the removal of 220 buses from the city when replaced by higher-capacity trams, would be staggered.
There will be 31 construction zones set up in the city, each be affected for eight and thirteen months.
A new bus timetable will be released on October 4, but Mr Constance would not clarify whether the majority of affected buses would be re-routed down other city streets or terminated at the edge of the city.
Mr Gay, meanwhile, revealed that a bike lane under construction on southern Castlereagh Street to Liverpool would not be a part-time bike lane, after the government decided it would not work.
The south Castlereagh Street bike lane, between Hay Street and Liverpool Street, will be a full-time bike lane, but will not be extended to the northern section of the city until after light rail construction.
The removal of the College Street lane before the construction of a complete replacement lane along Castlereagh Street breaks a prior commitment from the government.
Asked about the safety implications of removing a separated cycling lane from the city at a time when more people might want to cycle into town because of disruption to the road network, Mr Constance said: “Everybody is going to be affected by this build.”