Concerns over safety of planned cycleway into Sydney Airport amid Henri Sueke tragedy, James Taylor, Southern Courier 29 May 2015
THE southeast’s cycling community has been thrown into a spin just a week after singing their praises for planned bike routes into Sydney Airport.
One of NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay three bike planned paths, will run from Wentworth Ave, to the airport as part of a $500 million package to reduce congestion.
It would mean 2000 Sydney Airport workers from the eastern suburbs and 3500 from inner-Sydney will have the option of cycling to work for their daily commute.
But it came just a week before Sydney doctor Henri Sueke was killed by a semi-trailer while cycling in Rose Bay.
The father of four, 36, was riding on New South Head Rd next to a large tip truck with a trailer when he fell under the wheels at 7.45am on Thursday.
Bike Sydney President David Borella, from Alexandria, said Sydney’s cycling community was in mourning for Mr Sueke’s wife and kids.
“The cycling community is in tears for Henri and his wife and kids today. We extend our thoughts and love,” Mr Borella said.
“Every single rider feels this in their gut as they have to contend with traffic every day.”
Bikes Botany Bay spokesman Mango Philamara welcomed the planned airport route but raised concerns about the safety of cyclists on the busy airport entry roads.
“For us its workers coming from Randwick, Maroubra, Botany and once they get to Wentworth Ave there’s nowhere else for them to get through. At the moment you are forcing cyclists to ride up on the footpath or fight the traffic on the road,” Mr Philamara said.
Early last month the Southern Courier reported that kids as young as nine were running the gauntlet at the busy Wentworth Ave and Botany Rd intersection.
It is the route airport commuters travelling from the southeast and parts of inner-Sydney would take.
Out of 29,000 employees at Sydney Airport, 7 per cent lived in the eastern suburbs and 12 per cent in inner-Sydney as of 2012.
Over 13 per cent of workers indicated that they walk, cycled or used a motorcycle to and from their shift — up from 5 per cent in 2006.
2GB broadcaster Steve Price was less than impressed with Mr Gay’ announcement, slamming the proposal as “stupid” on Channel 10’s The Project.
He said travellers leaving and arriving at Sydney Airport wouldn’t use a cycleway.
Construction is expected to begin in 2018.
The Courier has approached the NSW Roads and Maritime for comment.