Sutherland Shire Environment Centre has been campaigning for a safe, direct off-road bike and walking path along the rail corridor between Sutherland and Cronulla since 2006. An announcement approving the path was made in 2015, but the work to implement the full path was delayed.
In 2021 the NSW government suddenly back-peddled on the planned route for the Sutherland to Cronulla Active Transport Link (SCATL), shortening it to end at Woolooware instead of Cronulla mall and moving it from alongside the rail corridor to busy roads, which would have forced users to cross hundreds of driveways and major intersections. The rationale behind this decision made no sense. It didn’t provide a better or safer route for cyclists and walkers.
A substantial public outcry to these atrocious alterations caused State government to reassess its choice of route. However, they have are ruled out the use of the rail-corridor and the few changes in routing that they have revealed will fail to meet their own safety and design standards and be unable to accommodate a high volume of users.
The new route also involves tree removals which we do not support, including along Denman Avenue. The original route was to have been along the South side of the rail corridor which would have minimised tree removals and provided access to a crossing over Gannon’s road using the recently upgraded bridge.
A mature tree canopy is one of the key recommended features within the cycleway toolbox so it is completely counterintuitive for these beautiful trees to be cut.
This is critical infrastructure which should be built properly so that it can serve the needs of the community.
The population of the Shire is growing and with it, a real need for transport options that don’t add more cars to our already choked roads. We also need trees!!
The Sutherland to Cronulla Active Transport Link is meant to function as the spine of a growing active transport network for the Shire, helping to ease the traffic congestion that is driven by the NSW government’s rampant approval of high-density housing. Call on State government to honor it’s promise and build a high-quality active transport route that will entice people to use it.
Have Your Say
2. Contact politicians directly to request that the SCATL route be changed back to what was promised – see contact details and suggested points
We were so pleased in May 2015 when the State Government announced plans to support the project, saying the “Government is committed to the planning and design of this walking and cycling path between Sutherland and Cronulla as part of Sydney’s Cycling Future.”
When the original project and route was announced, Transport Minister Andrew Constance and local MPs Mark Speakman, Eleni Petinos, Lee Evans and Melanie Gibbons all supported that the essential SCATL infrastructure be placed inside the rail corridor.
Bicycles are the ultimate in clean-energy vehicles, with zero emissions and only a small amount of material required for their construction. Climate change and peak oil are two of the biggest issues we face as a civilisation.
Scientists around the world have been ringing alarm bells about these issues for years, and governments are finally starting to take notice. Billions of dollars are being invested in “green cars” and carbon-reduction schemes, yet bicycle promotion and infrastructure remains underfunded in many countries.
The Latest Information (September 2023)
Oak Road, Kirrawee – Sylvania Road, Miranda
- Use of the rail-corridor for some sections between is being re-assessed by the project team. It is very valuable for residents to state their preference for this option.
Sylvania Road, Miranda -Jackson Ave, Miranda
- Last proposal from the project team was to travel North on Sylvania Rd and route along the south side of Kingsway, past the congested front of Miranda, Westfields to link with Jackson Ave. Obviously this is a crazy idea as shoppers and trolleys will be hazardous to pedestrians and cyclists. We advocate for a cyclist-only path that enters the South side of the rail corridor from the East side of Sylviania Rd as the rail corridor is too narrow to easily construct a path to accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians. Pedestrians can continue to use the footpaths on Karimbla Road. Sensible alternatives have been proposed in the BicycleNSW Submission to Transport of NSW.
Jackson Ave, Miranda – Kareena Road
- The section between Jackson Ave and Kareena Rd is currently being constructed. We advocate that a path on the South side of the rail corridor, starting from Gibbs Street in Miranda be added in the future as the steep incline and the noise and pollution from traffic on the Kingsway will deter many people from using the route.
Kareena Road, Miranda – Gannons Road, Caringbah
- Plans are proceeding to build SCATL on the South side of Kingsway with a signalled crossing at Willarong Rd to cross the Kingsway and access Banksia Road. A cyclist-only section will be constructed on the South side of Banksia Rd and merge with Denman Ave. Unfortunately, use of the rail corridor is not being re-assessed so a number of mature trees will need to be removed, although the project team has worked diligently to minimise removal of high value trees (large, native species that have not been severely impacted by years of pruning to accommodate overhead power lines). Ask for a path to be built on the South side of the rail corridor in the future as it will provide a more efficient active transport spine.
Gannons Road, Caringbah – Cronulla
- Stage 3 (purple shaded section on above map) – options are still being assessed. Urge the planning team to utilise the South side of the rail corridor and the new bridge over Gannons Road which was built to accommodate SCATL. Encourage them to adopt Sutherland Council’s proposal to connect to Cronulla mall and train station with maximum use of the rail corridor.
What are the opportunities for improvement on the proposed route?
- Put it back into the rail corridor as planned and promised. In November, 2020 the NSW State government committed $710 million towards Active Transport for the next 4 years.
- State Government approvals are responsible for the rapid increase in high density housing in the Shire, including the enormous Woolooware Shores and Kirrawee South Village developments. One of the least expensive solutions to the traffic congestion this has created is the provision of high-quality, safe and efficient active transport network.
- SCATL is meant to function as the spine of this network with smaller, less expensive connectivity to suburbs added later. Removing the route from the train corridor makes it less likely to entice people to use it.
There is plenty of room in the rail corridor to accommodate a shared path. Have a look at this gallery of photos that prove it.
Bicycle NSW says the new proposed SCATL route is unsafe and needs to be changed. Details are provided in their excellent submission The Sutherland to Cronulla Active Transport Link: the case for a safe direct path.
For more information please contact the SCATL Convenor c/- firstname.lastname@example.org