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Friday, 7 November 2014

A Solution to the Pyrmont - Barangaroo Access Problem

Source: Barangaroo Delivery Authority
The Barangaroo development on the western side of Sydney's CBD is progressing at a pace. Observers have correctly pointed out that better access is needed between Pyrmont and Barangaroo, especially as the existing pedestrian access at Pyrmont Bridge is already close to capacity.

As often happens, various "creative" ideas are thrown up as possible solutions. The Sydney Business Chamber has proposed a cable car to connect the two precincts. Maybe this is a joke, but then Sydney did get a monorail in 1988 which lasted 25 years before everyone realised that was a joke too.

The sensible option would be to build another pedestrian bridge with a dedicated cycling lane. The area occupied by the current Sydney Ferries wharf at Darling Harbour will be vacated in 2016 when a new wharf is built 200 metres north at Barangaroo South. The bridge could connect from the old ferry wharf to Pyrmont Wharf 7, adjacent to the Sydney Heritage Fleet.

This would provide easy access for pedestrians from Pyrmont to connect with both Barangaroo South and the Wynyard Walk.

From a ferry network perspective, this would remove the need to have a stop at Pyrmont Bay. Instead, a new line could be added from Barangaroo to Glebe Point, with intermediate stops at Jacksons Landing and Glebe Island. The Glebe Island stop would be subject to demand arising from whatever development is made as part of the Bays Precinct renewal program.

Continuing the line further to Annandale is also possible, as well as an additional stop near Jones Bay at the northern end of Pyrmont.

The distance by water from Glebe Island to Barangaroo is not great - only 2.5 km - but would be painfully slow if current 4 knot speed restrictions continue in Rozelle Bay. A little flexibility is needed from Roads and Maritime Services to increase this to 8 knots. This would provide competitive transit times to Barangaroo for passengers currently poorly served by public transport:
  • 8 minutes from Jacksons Landing
  • 11 minutes from Glebe Island
  • 15 minutes from Glebe Point.
Another benefit is that the existing Circular Quay - Darling Harbour line would have a more manageable cycle time of 60 minutes if it did not make the diversion to Pyrmont Bay, as it currently does.  


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