SUTHERLAND TO CRONULLA ACTIVE TRANSPORT LINK
SUBMISSION CENTRAL AND NORTH MIRANDA PRECINCT RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION DECEMBER 19 2021
I am writing a submission on behalf of the Central and North Miranda Precinct Residents Association.
We support a cycleway/shared path between Sutherland to Cronulla
and we have provided comments on the proposed changes.
The original SCATL Maunsell Report in 2008 regards the Kingsway as not as relevant due to increased density and road congestion and intersections. http://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Outdoors/Sporting-Facilities/Cycling/Sutherland-to-Cronulla-Offroad-Cycleway-Proposal
This route has become significantly worse since 2008 and will only become less suitable and more unsustainable and adaptable with every year.
The potential route options feedback from 2015 business groups, schools, bike users, residents, environmental
groups and Sutherland Shire Council overwhelmingly supported the route in the rail corridor. This preference was reflected in the press release by Transport Minister Andrew Constance and local members that “more than half of the proposed 9km long shared
cycle-walk link from Sutherland to Cronulla would be within the rail corridor” The route along the Kingsway is not the preferred route by anyone.
The newly proposed changes to the route for SCATL provide for an inferior link for users. In considering
the design principles developed by the NSW Government, it is unclear how these changes were justified or considered to be appropriate. (The Cycleway Design Toolbox was produced by Aurecon and SMM on behalf of Transport for NSW : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vnJ6NftILra-kdN-yuBRhblfKgG_zp1u/view?usp=sharing )
The route along
Oak Road through Kirrawee shopping centre is not safe or enjoyable. It is not wide enough and there is a risk of car doors opening into cyclists as well as narrowing of an already congested road. From the picture image in the information leaflet, it appears
that the parking lane remains. The shared path would restrict an already congested bottle neck as it is the major drop off point for residents and students taking the train as well as restaurants, businesses, South Village and the main car park. Cyclists will
add to the congestion. The Kirrawee centre is too dense to add a cycle path along Oak road and this route would not be adaptable or sustainable for the future.
There is not much room for a shared path if the car parking
is to remain.
Traffic congestion in Oak Road. There is restricted width for a shared path across the railway bridge.
To turn from Oak Road into Flora street travelling North from Kirrawee Station involves turning right
into Flora street across 2 lanes. Traffic which is travelling straight ahead on Oak Road from the Highway will not be focused on cyclists turning right into Flora street along the shared path route. This intersection is dangerous for cyclists and contributes
to the congestion in Oak road.
Flora street is too busy for cyclists with commercial buildings such as Woolworths, Dan Murphy’s, dry cleaners, panel beaters, mechanics and numerous other businesses. There are vehicles exiting and entering
driveways continuously and school drop offs. The street is already chaos and the cycleway will further contribute to the congestion. It has a steep gradient and is unattractive, unsafe, stressful and frustrating. There are continual fumes from vehicles, you
have to move very slowly even in a car so you cannot gain any momentum and so it is totally unviable as an active transport link.
At the end of Flora street, the route winds around Clement street and Hotham Road with poor visibility so hardly a safe
or direct route.
The alternative route via Bath Road is better than Oak Road option but it has a very narrow bridge footpath at Avery Avenue and would require a lot of work to make it safe. There is also poor visibility for cyclists, pedestrians and
From Hotham road the route travels along The Kingsway which has a large number of cross streets between Hotham Rd and Sylvania Rd making it slow. There are buses and trucks as well as numerous cars contributing to poor air quality. Lack of specific
cycle crossings or shared path crossings is a major design impediment to create truly viable cycle networks (GTA designers) which are direct, comfortable attractive and safe.
Shared cyclist’s vehicle zones are not supported unless designated
cycleway totally separates cyclists from cars especially along main roads like the Kingsway. There will be children and seniors using this route.
The footpath between University Road and Wandella Road
is not very wide and will be difficult to maintain a full width shared path.
The route through Miranda Shopping Centre along the Kingsway is preferable to the previous Penprase Lane.
In front of Westfields there is potential for conflict between
shoppers and cyclists. There is insufficient room for a cycleway adjacent to bus bays and pedestrian crossing in front of Fig tree.
The shared path along the Kingsway in front of Miranda Hotel could be an issue with patrons queuing to enter.
TO SUTHERLAND HOSPITAL
The Kingsway between Miranda and Sutherland hospital has a lot of hazards with driveways and cross streets. It is not attractive with poor air quality from the numbers of cars, buses and trucks using the road and is not comfortable as the gradient is steep
in both directions especially for children, families, older people and people with disabilities and mobility devices. It is impossible to maintain momentum and this route will not be well used or viable for regular frequent trips.
HOSPITAL TO CARINGBAH
The proposed route continues to Caringbah with more intersections and along a main arterial road with the same safety risks, air pollution and loss of momentum making the trip unsafe and unpleasant.
Road along the Kingsway is not ideal. Traffic turning from Banksia Road onto the Kingsway tend to queue on existing pedestrian crossing. The crossing would be safer if moved further down Banksia Road/Denman Avenue.
TO GANNONS ROAD
The section east along Denman avenue is the only section of the route we consider viable and which meets some of the guidelines for effective cycling/shared path infrastructure but as it finishes at Gannon’s Road, any
benefits as an active transport link are lost as users are expected to detour along Captain Cook Drive. The Denman Avenue route should preserve as many of the mature trees as possible along the route and replanting should be prioritised if any are removed.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER GANNONS ROAD?
The route along Gannon’s Road to Captain Cook Drive and Elouera Road is inconvenient, poorly connected, unsafe and unpleasant. It is unlikely that residents would make a trip from South Cronulla
or the Cronulla CBD to Caringbah, Sutherland Hospital or the Miranda medical, commercial and retail centres via captain Cook Drive. It is similarly unlikely that residents West of Woolooware would see this Gannon’s Road/Captain Cook Drive route as a
viable alternative to driving their car to the Cronulla CBD.
Cronulla CBD is a preferred residential location for many of the young workers in the Shire as is Miranda and Sutherland. The health workers at Sutherland Hospital, Karina Hospital
and numerous nursing homes, the fire Brigade at Sutherland, teachers at local schools and numerous retail and professional workers in Miranda CBD, Cronulla CBD and Sutherland CBD are all potential uses of a direct active transport link. The Gannons Road, Captain
Cook Drive and Elouera Road route does not meet the NSW State guidelines for an active transport link. It does not have ease of access, is not convenient, attractive, comfortable, safe or direct and is unlikely to be used.
Gannon’s Road was never
considered to be an active transport link. It was built by Council to link areas around Woolooware Bay with the main active transport link as proposed in original design where SCATL runs along the rail corridor as much as possible and a central direct and
flat route along the Spine of the Shire.
Currently 50% of trips in the area less than 2kms long are made by car in the Shire and we have a much higher car ownership than Greater Sydney with 57% of households
owning 2 cars or more (44% in greater Sydney) (Sutherland Shire council) https://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Council/Strategies-Plans-and-Reports/Community-Strategic-Plan/Our-Demographics-Tell-Us/Our-Demographics-Tell-Us
The reason is that we have very little access to any areas except by car. We have few and infrequent bus services, the kids attend extracurricular activities after school and the roads are congested so we have to use cars which would explain why we have
a 30% higher rate of coronary heart disease than that of Greater Sydney
We support the original promised link which would incorporate more than half of the proposed 9km long shared cycle walk link from Sutherland to Cronulla within the rail corridor.
The newly proposed changes to the route for SCATL provide for an inferior link for users. Once again in considering the design principles developed by the NSW Government, it is unclear how these changes were justified or considered to be appropriate.
SCATL is a critical infrastructure which should provide the East- West spine for our entire off-road active transport network to improve regional function and connectivity. Its value is greatly amplified. Cost should not be given the highest priority as this
is an essential major infrastructure. It is a high value asset. There is no connectivity between existing cycleways which are ad-hoc and deficient in most areas.
The route through Miranda Centre to Caringbah is the biggest challenge for the
shared path as was identified in the two previous designs. The rail corridor and Council owned or designated property would be safer, adaptable and more sustainable. We suggest TfNSW work more closely with Council to identify real possibilities for a more
sustainable safer and viable route.
We knew from the beginning that specific designs would be required to mitigate any conflict issues with pedestrians when the route passes through the Miranda Town Centre
From Kareena Rd
we support running it in the rail corridor to Caringbah supported by Council owned or designated land for the future where it will exit at the new Coles development site. There is plenty of opportunity for Council and Developers to incorporate it into the
future Coles development.
The original SCATL route focused around the rail corridor is an off-road route for the future which will be well utilized no matter how much the density increases in Miranda. Exit routes originally raised as concerns between
Sylvania road and Kiora road can be mediated by council with developers as rapid development along the rail corridor continues at its current furious rate.
Having reviewed the design principles contained in the NSW Government Cycleway Design Toolbox
(December 2020), it is unclear why the link has been changed in a manner that departs from those principles as set out below:
- Safe - It is clear that changing the route to involve more major roads and intersections will make the link less safe
and contribute to traffic congestion. This is a particular concern for children/elderly and those new users we are trying to attract to reduce car use in the Shire.
- Connected - It is unclear why the link does not continue to Cronulla, being a popular
residential area as well as a destination for exercise, eating, entertainment, shopping and work. The health workers at Sutherland Hospital, Karina Hospital and numerous nursing homes. The fire Brigade at Sutherland, teachers at local schools and numerous
retail and professional workers in Miranda require direct access along the spine of the Shire for short distances for work, shopping, commercial and health reasons. Stopping the cycleway around Woolooware represents an obvious departure from this principle.
- Direct - The new route provides a less direct route and fails to link Cronulla, being a key destination. A detour via Captain Cook Drive adversely affects the usability of the link as it makes it an unviable alternative for short trips. It will
be a disincentive for short trips.
- Attractive - To achieve this outcome, major roads and intersections should be avoided.
- Comfortable - The original route is flatter which would appeal to a broader range of the community. It makes the
transport link more accessible, comfortable, Due to air quality concerns; major roads should be avoided. For convenience and to maintain momentum to make short trips viable the original route is far superior.
- Adaptable. The original route along rail
corridor is sustainable for the future. The continued increase in density of population and housing will impinge on already congested roads making cycling or walking along main roads and footpaths with many intersections inconvenient, frustrating and inefficient
generating conflict between active transport users and motorists. The quality of active transport links along roads and footpaths will deteriorate with time.
President / shared
Miranda and North Miranda PRA