“The Sydney Harbour Bridge walkway is appreciated by more than a million people each year for exercise, to take in views of the harbour or travel between home and work – and it should be available for everyone to enjoy,” said minister for roads Duncan Gay. “These changes would mean there are no constraints for people with prams, the elderly or for those in a wheelchair to access the Sydney Harbour Bridge walkway. When the bridge was opened in 1932, access wasn’t considered like it is now in 2016 and it makes sense that as our community becomes more inclusive, the bridge moves with the times.”
Minister for disability services John Ajaka said the 61 steps on Broughton Street at Kirribilli and 64 steps at Cumberland Street in The Rocks could be the difference between people experiencing the Sydney Harbour Bridge first-hand or only from a distance. “The NSW Government is determined to make NSW the State of Inclusion,” he said. “Everyone, including people with disability, should be able to enjoy everything NSW has to offer. This project is a game-changer for people with disability and their families. Importantly, Sydneysiders are not the only ones who will benefit from these improvements, people from around the world who come to our beautiful city will now have better access to the bridge.”
Roads & Maritime Services has carried out extensive work to investigate preferred locations for the lift access. Community consultation and detailed planning work will continue to ensure the heritage value of the bridge is preserved as the upgrade is delivered. Consultation, detailed design and environmental assessment is expected to take about 12 months, with construction to start soon after, pending planning and heritage approvals.