The Department of Planning and Environment have published responses to the EIS.

Of the 168 submissions from the public, 112 were objecting to the closure of the Jesmond off-road shared path!

That’s two thirds of the responses, and more than six times as many objections as made on any other issue.

So are the Roads and Maritime Services going to ignore the overwhelming consensus of public opinion?

 

The issue

The Roads and Maritime Services of NSW are building the final section of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass from Rankin Park to Jesmond. At the northern interchange, the current plans are to remove the shared cycle/foot path between Jesmond Park and Jesmond and replace it with with not one, not two but three signal crossings, over eight lanes of traffic!

Current State.

Current State.

Future State? RMS plans for three sets of lights across eight lanes of traffic.

Future State? RMS plans for three sets of lights across eight lanes of traffic.

The overwhelming desire of the community is that the existing path (which has been used since 1949 when the tramline was removed) be retained as a continuous off road route via an underpass, or combination of underpass and overhead bridges. The Roads and Maritime Services have received many submissions over the past few years relating to their plans but they have not made a serious attempt to solve the problem of retaining the pathThere are plenty of alternative possibilities for retaining the shared path, but the RMS seem to be not interested in listening and are intent on destroying this community facility.

The final review process is underway. Public submissions to the Department of Planning and Environment in response to the EIS closed on 16th December 2016.

Call to action

  1. Express your displeasure at the current plans by making an online submission, or you can kiss your path goodbye. Too late now.
  2. Attend the last drop-in information session to be held Thursday 1 December 2016 between 3pm-6pm at Silver Ridge Community Cottage, 13 Iranda Grove, Wallsend. Too late now.
  3. Contact your local State member of parliament.
  4. Contact your local City of Newcastle councillor.
  5. Contact the mainstream media:
    1. Ring your local radio station.
    2. Write a letter to the local newspaper.
    3. Add comments to the websites or Facebook pages of the media.
  6. Add a comment to any of the pages on this site.
  7. Talk to your friends, acquaintances, work colleagues, to let them know about this issue and this site.
  8. Use social media, blogs, websites to link to this site. It would be great if this site appears near the top of the search results list when people Google the bypass project.
  9. Suggest other action that could be taken.
  10. Suggest to me ways in which this website could be improved, or send me content to add to the site. (See “About this site” for contact details.)

Media coverage

The Newcastle Herald published a story on Tuesday 13th December 2016. We have some photos and a report on the protest rally held on Sunday morning 11th December 2016, and there is also a podcast episode (20 mins) with interviews now available.

16 thoughts on “

  1. Hi Lachlan, thanks for this info. I cycle this path every week and although I’d heard some talk of a new overpass, I didn’t realise it foreshadowed the severing of the path itself. I’ve put in a submission objecting to the plan to neglect cyclists and pedestrians, based on the info you have assembled here.

  2. Hello Lachlan, I attended the drop in information session on Thursday and like Daniel above was explained the options currently being investigated and difficulties with getting a design to work that wasn’t “inherently unsafe itself” due to steep and/or spiral ramp grades etc. They did say they need to provide a report with responses to all submissions including any additional investigations and design changes made as a result of submissions. What surprised me was that the project manager said he hadn’t been contacted by you regarding this website. Any reason for this? I would have thought you’d go direct to the source to try and get answers etc. Good work though for raising the profile on this issue.

    • > What surprised me was that the project manager said he hadn’t been contacted by you regarding this website. Any reason for this?

      Who is the Project Manager? What are the contact details? I will gladly contact them.

    • They are tying to find any excuse they can to not put an overpass in, the statements about the gradients are absolute rubbish. There is a shared path on Kirkdale drive which is 18% gradient.

      The concept design they had for an overpass was also rediculous as it was 12m off the ground, almost 500m long with spiral ramps and went over the main highway itself, I developed a concept which only went over the two ‘ramps’ and was 120m long, 6-8m off the ground… this connected the paths and went under the main bypass… the PM has told me they are investigating this option but I’m not holding my breath.. they are just trying to fob us off..

      These people are supposed to be highly educated professional engineers with the community interests at heart, from what I’ve seen out of them a high school kid could have done better at finding a solution…

  3. This current pathway is a great part of the local community. Families, kids and cyclists all share this space. A continuous path is essential. Let’s hope the mrs are listening.

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