Friday, July 26, 2024

Paving the way to pedestrianise George Street

The complete rejuvenation of Sydney CBD’s George Street is a step closer, with works to pedestrianise the northern thoroughfare to begin in January.

Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport, Rob Stokes said the NSW Government was working with the City of Sydney council to create almost 6,000 square metres of additional public space between Wynyard and Essex Street.

“Every city needs a central spine and George Street has been transformed from being choked by cars and buses to a place for people to truly enjoy,” Mr Stokes said.

“The billions invested on CBD Light Rail was the catalyst to reimagine George Street, starting with the pedestrianisation of the southern end to now, working with the City of Sydney to trial the same approach at George Street north.

“The $3 million commitment for this project is in addition to our ongoing work to create two new public squares at Central and Circular Quay – bookending George Street to create one of the world’s great boulevards.

“This will change the way people move around our city, bringing more foot traffic for businesses and allowing more venues to open their doors for outdoor dining.”

Construction on the temporary pedestrianisation of George Street north between Hunter Street and Bridge Street will take place in January 2023, with Transport for NSW and City of Sydney working together to obtain relevant approvals and coordinate traffic plans to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore said once complete, the City’s vision of a reimagined city centre with a fully pedestrianised George Street, linked by three squares at Circular Quay, Town Hall and Central, will be one step closer.

“George Street’s transformation from a traffic clogged arterial route to a destination in its own right is nothing short of remarkable,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We know our community wants the outstanding public spaces that projects like this achieve and I am incredibly proud to be overseeing this transformation, which, once finished, will have reclaimed more than 20,000 square metres of former roadway between Central and Circular Quay.

“In a post-Covid world, the role of public space in the heart of our city is vital as we strive to ensure a thriving, liveable and accessible city for all.

“It’s crucial that our streets prioritise people and enable walking and riding, as well as supporting businesses to take advantage of these new spaces through initiatives like outdoor dining.

“Following the pedestrianisation of George Street south, the city saw a jump in outdoor dining applications, with 18 made in just two months.”

A proposal to permanently pedestrianise George Street north in late 2023 is now open for community consultation via the City of Sydney Council website.

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