Sydney Cycle Routes
- 1 Overview
- 2 Local Routes
- 3 Regional Sydney Routes
- 4 Outside of Sydney
This page shows the mapping strategy for cycle routes in Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Local cycle routes are documented by local government area below. Most council routes do not have references. Include them if they are an officially designated reference.
What makes a cycle route in Sydney?
It can be difficult to determine what constitutes a cycle route in Sydney. Many of the routes are documented on this page so some agreement and consistency can be maintained.
Some of the below factors should be taken into account if deciding if a route is a cycle route:
- The route is a connected series of roads and cycleways:
- and is indicated relatively continuously on the route by:
- new or old Ausroads compliant destination way-marking signs, ie finger signs, decision point signs, reassurance signs.
- by blue cycle signs.
- by bicycle stencils obviously intended as way-finding aids (reassurance, with directional arrows, continuity, visibility).
- by other way-finding aids, such as the Greenway, RMS detours (M4 Detour), non-standard finger signs which are tourist in nature, Cooks River exits, etc.
- by road M A B C numbering or road name where the route is a forced bicycle diversion (B83, Old Pacific Highway), or a long distance actually useful for cycling road shoulder along an express way (M1, Southern Cross Drive, Eastlakes), or a piece of continuous infrastructure along a named road Gardners Road Rosebery southern boundary shared path.
- or is indicated as a route, not just as infrastructure, on the council or RMS website.
- and is indicated relatively continuously on the route by:
However, also consider the following that may be counter-indicative:
- Council routes that are only planned routes should not be mapped. If there is no sign or stencil on the route, and no cycle facilities, then it may only be a planned route.
- Signs and stencils may be discontinuous and not form a route. Stencils may only indicate infrastructure (shared lane, door zone shoulder, advised shoulder, paired with a Bicycle Lane sign).
- One of many cycle routes in government cycle plans, such as BikePlan 2010, that were never implemented should not be mapped.
- A route that is impassible, or that has no destination.
- A personal opinion of a 'good way to cycle'. If you think an unmarked route is a good cycle route, then map the elements that make it one, so that a good cycle router will choose it. A service like MapMyRide allows you to map personal routes against an OSM map.
City of Sydney cycle routes have implementing the finger sign standards in a comprehensive resignage, so it's easier now to determine a route by survey. In other council areas it may be more difficult.
The habit of councils in Sydney and RMS have been with destination way finding signs to not supply sufficient reassurance signs on on road routes, or at apparent decision points. When searching for routes, or following routes, follow the last directed road or street by its apparent "intention," if you can.
Another Sydney/NSW specific problem with naming or providing references for routes is that destination based signage is inconsistent and changes names for the intermediate destinations, or rarely puts the terminal destination on a sign. Forward and backward relations on the same route will have different destinations sign posted. Even in the same direction one sign may read "Surry Hills, Gladesville" then "Redfern, Newtown" and the next "Newtown, Gladesville." No good solution exists yet.
If the route is a connected series of roads or paths that leads somewhere, where possible create a relation and add all the ways to the relation. Nodes for guidepost signs may be added as with the tag on the node information=guidepost. If possible add the route to the tables below.
Tag the relation:
- network=lcn or rcn
- ref=(No consensus exists regarding references)
- name=(Official name if possible, or well known name if not)
Good tags for the relation:
- operator= council, RMS, private land owning body (eg: University of Sydney)
- phone= for complaints
- email= for complaints
- website= for complaints
Optional tags for the relation:
- symbol= blue bicycle sign ; white bicycle stencil ; destination wayfinding ; B83 ; Gardners Road
- roundtrip=yes/no (yes for The Bay Run, no for Cooks River Cycleway)
- (per way or node in the relation): role=forward / backward / guidepost / destination / link (for exits)
If the route is discontinuous. or leads nowhere, add the tags to the way.
- Local routes with a number: lcn_ref=xx
- Local routes without a number: lcn=yes
- Regional routes with a number: rcn_ref=xx
- Regional routes without a number: rcn=yes
- source:lcn / source:rcn=Please indicate the source you used so other mappers can follow-up and link up discontinuous routes
Try to give a sensible name to the way. A cycleway that has no given name that follows a road can be give the same name as the road.
See Cycle routes for the full tagging guide.
Local Government Areas:
Ashfield Municipality Relation:
Ashfield has a number of cycle routes that connect in places to the routes of Marrickville, Burwood and Canterbury councils. Ashfield publishes a map. Mapping completion is 100%. (All verified, post July 2012 redaction.)
Botany Bay council does not seem to publish a cycling map, although there are a number of marked routes.
Well formed routes from Sydney Airport andto the city and the eastern suburbs pass through Botany Bay council. The routes are well marked at either end of the Botany Bay Council area, but dissolve into a mass of poorly defined routes through the council area.
Burwood Municipality Relation:
Burwood has a number of routes, although some are still under construction (June 2011). Burwood publishes a map. Mapping completion is estimated to be about 80%.
Canada Bay has a mix of signposted routes and cycle lanes. A council map dated 2010 lists a number of proposed routes. In OSM only actual routes are marked. Mapping completion is estimated to be about 60%.
Canada Bay includes the northern part of the track around Iron Cove, and connecting links from Homebush Bay to the Parramatta River cycleway.
Canterbury City Relation:
Canterbury cycle routes tend to be reasonably well signposted, and Canterbury Council publishes a cycle map. The M5 Motorway cycleway (see below for regional routes) runs partly through Canterbury. Routes don't have numbers, but some are listed individually. Mapping completion is estimated to be about 60%.
|M5 to Cooks River||Links the M5 East cycleway and the Cooks River cycleway||60%||Towards the M5 is signposted "M5 East" and towards Cooks River is signposted "Cooks River". North or west of Belmore Park is still proposed.|||
|Clemton Park to Cooks River||Alfred Street, Clemton Park to Cooks River cycleway, Canterbury||100%||Cyclists can cross Bexley Road at the lights where cars cannot. The part of this cycleway in Hughes Park is closed until mid-2012, and has been marked access=no|||
Hustville Council joins Rockdale, Kogarah, Canterbury and Bankstown councils. Hurstville publishes a map of what they call on and off road cycle paths. They are generally signposted with dark blue bicycle signs, and occasionally with council themed green bicycle directional signs. In the centre of the Hurstville CBD (e.g. Forest Rd, The Avenue and Park Road south of Queens Road) there is no signage. Many of the on road cycle routes run along busy sections of road - like Forest Road.
Mapping completion is estimated to be 100%.
|Hurstville to Kingsgrove||Connects Hustville to Kingsgrove Station.||100%||No signs on Dora Street in the CBD (south of Queens Road).|
|Kingsgrove to Narwee||Runs between Kingsgrove station and Narwee station.||100%||Connects with Canterbury Council routes at Narwee.|
|Narwee to Penshurst||Runs between Narwee station and Penshurst station.||100%||Connects with Canterbury Council routes at Narwee.|
|Beverly Hills to Peakhurst||Runs from Penshurst Road to Jaques Avenue and Peakhurst Park .||100%|
|Riverwood to Lugarno||Runs between Riverwood station and Lugarno primary school.||100%|||
The Kogarah Council area joins Rockdale and Hurstville council areas. Kogarah does not seem to publish a map of cycle routes, although some Kogarah GIS systems do include cycle routes. Some routes have blue-on-white direction signs, but many have only a black-on-yellow warning sign for motorists (and commonly only on side roads leading to cycle routes).
Mapping completion is estimated to be 75%. Missing areas are probably south of Oatley station, Connells Point and Blakehurst.
Lane Cove Municipality Relation:
Lane Cove cycle routes generally have a small bike symbol painted on the road, or small signs with a directional arrow. Lane Cove Council publishes a cycle map. Lane Cove Council publishes a good cycle map. Mapping completion is estimated to be about 90%.
Routes designated local by Lane Cove Council are marked as local (lcn) on OSM, where as routes designated "state" or "regional" are marked as regional (rcn) on OSM (when they actually exist on the ground - some do not.)
Leichhardt Municipality Relation:
Leichhardt cycle routes are generally well signposted including destinations and distances to the destination. Leichhardt council maps show NSW RTA route numbers, but signs on the ground don't show these yet. Mapping completion is estimated to be about 60%.
Routes designated local, strategic or scenic by Leichhardt council are mapped as local (lcn). Routes designated "RTA Regional Bicycle Routes" by Leichhardt council are mapped as regional (rcn).
Marrickville Municipality Relation:
Relation coverage here represents the post-redaction state. Some routes without references are still to be verified.
Marrickville routes historically have been given Lxx numbers. Some of these signs can still be seen in the area, but they aren't referenced on the council website, and there are now entire routes without a single one of these signs on them.
Routes are generally signposted, but often some intersections are missed. Mapping completion is estimated to be about 80%. Some historical Marrickville Council planning documents reference previous NSW RMS route numbers, although signs on the ground don't show these.
|L1||Petersham Park to Camperdown Park||100%||Quite steep up through Fort Street.|
|L2||Camperdown Memorial Park and Newtown to Kingston Road (Joins L5)||100%||Possibly some confusion between L2 and L5.|||
|L4||Petersham Park to Hoskins Park Dulwich Hill (joins L10)||100%||Route goes on the footpath on Old Canterbury Road between Jubilee Street and Barker Street Lewisham.|
|L5||Newtown to Marrickville station||100%||Some sections signposted as "Alternate Route" and mapped as L5a.|
|L6||Parramatta Road to Morgan Street, Petersham||100%||Cyclists can continue on West Street crossing Railway Terrace where cars cannot.|
|L7||Enmore Road, Enmore to Wicks Park, Sydenham||100%||Joins L12 in Sydenham|||
|L8||St Peters station to Sydenham Station||100%||Very poorly signposted.|||
|L10||Old Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill to Sydney Park||90%||Route possibly incorrect at the eastern end of Adison Road near Enmore Park|||
|L13||Sydenham to Tempe Reserve||100%|||
North Sydney has a number of useful cycle routes, including the cycleway near Epping Road, and routes connecting up with the Harbour Bridge cycleway. North Sydney Council publish a map of their cycle routes.
Parramatta have a number of cycle routes and are building more. Mapping completion unknown.
Rockdale City Council extends from Sans Souci in the south to Turella in the north. Rockdale publishes a map of routes, and they are generally signposted. Rockdale includes sections of the Cooks River route and the Botany Bay foreshore route, and the connecting parts around the M5 East to the Cooks River cycleway.
Mapping completion is estimated to be 95%. All routes shown on council maps have been surveyed, including the new connecting route from Bexley Oval to Kogarah (via Queen Victoria Street).
|Kyeemagh to Georges River||Connects with the Botany Bay route at Captain Cook Bridge, and runs up through moderately quiet streets rejoin the Cooks River route at Kyeemagh.||100%||Signs going north say City and Brighton-Le-Sands. There is cycle signals when crossing Bay street, only stencils on the ped crossings.|
|Carlton to Wolli Creek||Through Carlton, Rockdale, and Arncliffe, connecting to the Cooks River cycleway.||100%||Use the pedestrian crossings near Rockdale station to get from Railway Street to Alexandra Parade. The section at the very southern end of Durham street is in Hurstville council, and does not show signs pointing north.|
|Hurstville to Wolli Creek||Bardwell Valley, Bexley and Arncliffe.||100%|
|Kingsgrove to Bardwell Park||100%||Connects with the Hurstville to Wolli Creek route at John Street, Turella|
|Wolli Creek to Earlwood||100%|
Sutherland Shire Council publish a number of maps, including information on alternate routes and gradient. Generally there are on-road cycle facilities, cycleway and cycle stencils to indicate the routes.
|Barden Ridge to Menai||100%||Joins Sutherland to Illawong at Menai Marketplace|
|Sutherland to Illawong||Sutherland to Menai to Illawong||100%||Uses the cycleway under the road on Woronora Bridge.|
|Sutherland to Taren Point||100%||Joins Sutherland to Illawong at Sutherland, and Botany Bay at Taren Point|
Sydney, City of
Sydney City Relation:
City of Sydney is developing an extensive cycle network. On the ground there is extensive use of blue bicycle cycle signs directing to suburbs considered to be a focus for cycling. These signs are easy to follow within the CoS area, but often disappear when leaving the CoS area make it difficult to track the assigned routes (for example signs at Sydney Park direct to "Hurstville" and at Newtown to "Gladesville".
CoS provides a Melways basemap covered in nominal routes. The Sydney Cycleways site also provides some named routes, some directional routes, and some suggested recreational rides.
|Bourke Route||Combination of Bourke Street Cycleway and Bourke Road Cycleway (together with linking sections). The final linking stage is under construction.|
|Broadway link||Wilson Street to Mary Ann St.|
|City to Green Square||via Redfern / Waterloo|
|UNSW to Tempe|
|Bondi Junction to Newtown|
|Southern Cross Drive||Southern Cross Drive has a shoulder that can be used by bicycles between Wentworth Avenue and the Eastern Distributor|
|Southern Boundary Shared Path||This is a planned path, with some parts that exist on normal footpath indicated as shared path. Not well developed.|
|Redfern to Sydney Park|
Regional Sydney Routes
The NSW RMS refers to regional cycle routes in various planning documents, as do local councils. Some local councils reference RMS routes on their web site (particularly in relation building works for new routes), although naming varies from council to council, and reference numbers are generally not signposted.
There are other well known routes (including rail trails) that are more than local that are tagged as regional. These are included here as well.
|Botany Bay Foreshores||Airport to Kurnell around Botany Bay||95%: issues at Kurnell||Joins Cooks River cycleway near the Airport.|
|Cooks River||Airport to Sydney Olympic Park along the Cooks River||99%: exit signs / links not mapped||Joins Botany Bay cycleway near the Airport, and Parramatta Valley cycleway at the Parramatta River.|
|M2||Diversion roughly following the M2 motorway between North Ryde and Baulkham Hills||100%||A diversion is currently in place during M2 widening. The former westbound relation follows the diversion, while the eastbound relation (1113500) has been disabled. The diversion will be in place at least until late 2012.|
|M4||M4 cycleway between Olympic Park, Homebush and Cumberland Highway, Wentworthville||100%||Cycle friendly route largely following the M4|||
|M4 Diversion||RMS signposted diversion during Westconnex||90%: missing gap in Olympic Park||M4 cycleway through Olympic Park to Concord - City via Gipps/Queen/Five Dock. The "replacement" for the M4 shoulder during Westconnex work|
|M5||M5 (east) cycleway between Bexley Road, Bexley North and approaching Fairford Road, Padstow||100% ?||Cross King Georges Road using the pedestrian crossings and follow the path behind the sound barrier joining Rosetta Street. There is no marked crossing on Penshurst Road. Note that this is different to the cycle lane on the M5 east itself. At the Padstow end this cycleway connects to the Salt Pan Creek Cycleway, that has some narrow timber boardwalks at the western end||South side North side|
|M7||M7 cycleway between Old Windsor Road, Glenwood and Camden Valley Way, Prestons||100% ?||Some maps show exit numbers, but OSM does not show these yet.|||
|Parramatta Valley Cycleway||Pellisier Road, Putney to James Ruse Drive, Parramatta||100%||Connects through to the Cooks River Cycleway at Meadowbank Bridge or Ryde Bridge.|||
|Parramatta to Liverpool Railtrail|
Although some councils give regional routes reference numbers, the numbers are not uniformly used, and are not signposted.
|West City via ANZAC Bridge and Lilyfield to Concord||100%||Leichhardt calls this "EW6"|||
|Epping Road||80%||City North to North Ryde via Harbour Bridge, North Sydney, Freeway and Epping Road|||
|Hawthorne Canal||100%||Lilyfield to Summer Hill|||
Outside of Sydney
Hunter and Central Coast councils
Overall: there is excellent network interfaces between regional Maitland and Newcastle routes, with poorer interfaces between Newcastle and Lake Macquarie routes.
- Greta to Newcastle City via Maitland (New England Highway).
- Coastal Cycleway: Newcastle City to Belmont via Fernleigh track.
- Newcastle has excellent documents describing cycle routes that generally follow functional road routes or constant infrastructure, with few decision points, and logical arrangements. Newcastle's route system is a mesh with multiple interconnections between useful routes, and with routes linking to neighbouring council infrastructure. Newcastle has proceeded to route signposting of some routes. Newcastle also clearly differentiates Local routes (L#) from Regional routes (R#). Newcastle also implements a "scenic" route system whose behaviour has been mapped as lcn prior to the redaction. All regional routes were mapped prior to redaction. Major local routes (through routes) were mapped prior to redaction. One scenic route was mapped in full prior to redaction. It appears as though route mapping will improve here shortly.
- Maitland has a poor quality pamphlet describing logical cycle routes that generally follow indirectly arranged and periodic infrastructure. Major routes are poorly route marked, but follow logical routes along roads that describe the route. Maitland's route system is concentrated as a star on Maitland, but meshes well with major outbound routes.
- Lake Macquarie has poor quality advertising material that describes the presence of infrastructure. These infrastructures are named and numbered on map, occasionally starting to form a mesh or network.
- Other Hunter councils do not appear to provide route networks at this time, and provide infrastructure based programmes. Some councils conduct demand analyses of desirable routing, but this doesn't result in mapped or signed routes.
Illawarra region councils
- Coastal cycleway was mapped, but incompletely route mapped. Illawarra councils and stakeholders have excellent planning documents regarding this route, but south of Wollongong riding the terrain may be required.
Mapped as ncn
Coastline cycleway was a NSW project providing funding to councils primarily used by councils to produce shared paths in leisure areas. In Newcastle and the Illawarra funding is being used to produce coherent shared path routes useful for long distance commuting. In both cases these routes are signposted and marked with varying degrees of success. They are mapped by councils. Mapping of the Newcastle and Illawarra sections of Coastline cycleway has been completed.
Major highways with improved shoulders, and major highway forced diversions
RMS states that improved shoulders on highways are cycling infrastructure. These infrastructures follow large long distance routes, and have occasionally been mapped as cycle routes.
B83 Old Pacific Highway Between Berowa and Gosford cyclists are obliged to use the Old Pacific Highway. This has been mapped as designated and associated with a ncn
M3 North of Gosford to Newcastle has been mapped as ncn
M31 Hume and Federal Highways between Goulburn and Canberra have been mapped as ncn