New city promenade to create place for people

Castlereagh Street will be transformed into a greener inner-city promenade, with footpaths widened, opportunities for more outdoor dining and a separated cycleway for commuters and delivery riders.

Under the City of Sydney proposal, footpath space along the western side of Castlereagh Street from Liverpool Street to King Street will be almost doubled to meet demand from local businesses for al fresco dining spaces.

The 800-metre cycleway will fill a missing link in the bike network connecting the north and south of the City of Sydney and will connect to cycleways serving the eastern suburbs, inner west, north shore and city south.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the plan will support the City of Sydney’s Covid recovery initiatives by providing more opportunities for hospitality venues and local businesses.

“Improving this historic street will benefit workers, residents, visitors and businesses looking to bounce back from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Lord Mayor said.

“In December last year many bus routes were moved from Castlereagh Street to Elizabeth Street, enabling us to work together with the State Government to create a people-focused street with higher pedestrian activity and lower levels of traffic.

“Our plans for Castlereagh Street will also make it safer, easier and more accessible for people using the new city centre Metro stations, due to open in 2024.

“We will improve the walking experience by widening footpaths for better amenity and providing space for trees and seating.

“Cyclists will also be able to ride in both directions along the length of the promenade, reinventing it as a conveniently linked and safe cycling route.”

Rosebery resident Cathal McReynolds recently wrote to the Lord Mayor to add his support for a Castlereagh Street cycleway. He says the connection would enable him to ride from home into the city centre for work.

“I always wanted to commute to the city on a bike, but I haven’t got that kind of confidence on the roads when I cycle. Motorists in Sydney can be bad, so I currently commute to work via train from Green Square,” Mr Cathal said.

“The Castlereagh cycleway is one of the last links required for me to cycle to work safely and would join with the pop-up in Pitt Street to take me to my office in Australia Square.

“I enjoy exercise and cycling is one of the ways I like to keep active. The cycling infrastructure from Rosebery to the city is quite good, until I get to Castlereagh Street. To be able to ride safely in the city can’t be taken for granted.”

The proposed upgrade for Castlereagh Street aligns with the State Government’s Movement and Place Framework. The City of Sydney has worked closely with key property owners and tenants along the street, including Fire and Rescue NSW, to understand and address their operational needs.

The City of Sydney’s Castlereagh Street designs include:

  • uninterrupted access for emergency vehicles
  • accessible loading zones on the eastern side of Castlereagh Street
  • peak hour bus lane and a drop off and pick up point for taxi services
  • designated drop off and pick up point for people accessing the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel
  • maintained access to properties and driveways
  • additional trees planted along the street.

People walking account for up to three-quarters of the trips along Castlereagh Street, but are only given around one third of the street space. This project aims to help redress the imbalance.

A cycle counter on Castlereagh Street south has consistently recorded around 4,000 trips per week over the past few years. The City expects that trips on the completed Castlereagh Street cycleway would soon rise to 10,000 trips a week and continue to grow.

Public consultation is now underway. Feedback on the proposal is welcome online at Sydney Your Say.

You can download or order a copy of the City of Sydney’s map.

/Public Release. View in full here.