Sydney Cycle Routes
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.
As with all of OSM, please try and map the ground truth, and remember that what you map will be used by visiting cyclists and on many various sites for route planning. Amateur lawyering as to what you believe may be a "legal" cycle route, is not as helpful as the surveying where the route naturally flows.
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. Please try and survey a route when you can. Many revisions of maps indicate good intentions that were never constructed. Please add a source or list your cycle route here. Routes added with no apparent source or reasoning may be revised/deleted by other mappers.
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.
- A long distance actually useful for cycling road shoulder along an express way (Southern Cross Drive, Eastlakes), or a piece of continuous infrastructure alongside 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 on the ground, 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).
- 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 network=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) which owns the land the cycle path goes through.
- phone=* phone number for complaints
- email=* email for complaints
- website=* website for complaints
Optional tags for the relation:
- symbol=blue bicycle sign; white bicycle stencil; destination wayfinding; B83; Gardners Road
- roundtrip=yes/roundtrip=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 Bankstown councils. Ashfield publishes a map. Mapping completion is 100%.
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|||
Georges River Council
Georges River Council consists of the old Hurstville, Rockdale and Kogarah council and adjoins Canterbury Bankstown council. 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%|||
Hornsby Shire Council
From Wisemans Ferry to Epping.
Inner West Council
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%|||
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 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).
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.
City of Parramatta
Parramatta have a number of cycle routes and are building more. Mapping completion unknown.
The Epping to Parramatta route has been mapped, an official signposted route.
A route from Epping to Denistone has been mapped, it has appeared on some official maps but is not signposted.
The Parramatta Valley Cycle trail has been mapped, it is an official signposted route and is mostly inside the cities boundary.
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|
Rockdale City Council
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%|
Council of the City of Ryde
Route from Meadowbank to Marsfield is mapped, on road route exists on some maps but is poorly or non existent for signposts.
Route from Denistone (connects to the above route) to Eastwood is mapped, some of this is off road shared footpath.
Route for Eastwood to Dundas started, some 20%?
City of Sydney
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|
Willoughby Council has a map on their website showing local cycle routes, both existing and planned.
The majority of the red and green routes shown on the map are marked, both on the ground with cycle stencils, and with a variety of signs. There are a small number of missing or difficult to spot signs, which make the routes tricky for out-of-area riders. The signs generally indicate the next suburb or location, and so are not necessarily describing point-to-point routes. Some have been converted into routes in OSM by mappers, but it is largely a network. Routes that have been created in OSM include:
- Chatswood to Castlecrag
- Naremburn to Chatswood
- Fullers Road to Middle Cove
- Fullers Bridge Chatswood
- East Chatswood to Chatswood CBD
- Northbridge to Castle Cove
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.
|Route||Description||Mapped||Notes & Source||Map link|
|Botany Bay Foreshore||Airport to Kurnell around Botany Bay||100%||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 Foreshores near the Airport, and Parramatta Valley cycleway at the Parramatta River. Well signposted along route,|
|Parramatta to Windsor||Parramatta Park via Westmead and Windsor Road. Well signposted along route||100%||off-road and quiet road connection to Windsor|
|M2 Diversion||Roughly following the route of the M2 between North Ryde and Baulkham Hills||100%||This was/is the recommended route (signposted) while the M2 was not available for cycling|
|M4||M4 cycleway between Olympic Park, Homebush and Cumberland Highway, Wentworthville||100%||Off road and quiet road route largely following the M4 (at times running along side or underneath it)|||
|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 Parrammatta Ferry Wharf, Parramatta||100%||Connects through to the Cooks River Cycleway at Meadowbank Bridge or Ryde Bridge.|||
|Parramatta to Liverpool Railtrail|
|City via ANZAC Bridge and Lilyfield to Concord||100%||Leichhardt calls this "EW6"|
|Epping Road||80%||City North to Macquarie Park via Harbour Bridge, North Sydney, Freeway and Epping Road|
|Greenway||100%||Iron Cove to Cooks River|
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 motorways permit cycling unless signposted to the contrary. These infrastructures can follow large long distance routes, and have occasionally been mapped as cycle routes where appropriate on-the-ground signage or facilities indicate. It is unlikely that these constitute a "national cycle network".
B83 Old Pacific Highway Between Berowa and Gosford cyclists are obliged to use the Old Pacific Highway.
M1 North of Gosford to Newcastle
M31 Hume and Federal Highways between Goulburn and Canberra/