Cycling

Cycling is an excellent way to get around, save money, keep fit and reduce your impact on the environment.  Often travelling by bike can be faster than other modes of transport and is a great way to explore your local area.

Council is committed to making cycling a safe and attractive transport option, so that more people cycle for more of their trips.  The Newcastle Cycling Strategy and Action Plan, adopted by Council in 2012, outlines our plans for expansion and upgrade of the network, in addition to actions for advocacy, promotion and education.  See Cycling Strategy and Action Plan under documents.

Maps

Council is in the process of updating maps produced for the Newcastle Cycling Strategy and Action Plan, to show all completed routes, future projects and key links.  In the interim, click on the links below for maps of rides in Newcastle.

 Breakwall to Breakwall
 Newcastle City Centre to University of Newcastle (Callaghan)
 Bathers Way Loops
 Local Trails
 City Map
 Fernleigh Track
 

Share the Path

Shared paths are a very safe way to get around by bike, but they are also used by many other people for walking and relaxing.  It is important for all users to follow a few basic rules so that everyone can enjoy them.  Riders tend to be the fastest on these paths, but they are generally not suitable for high speeds.

If you are riding:

  • Keep to the left
  • Give way to pedestrians and wheelchair users - slow down or stop if needed - they have right of way
  • Use your bell when passing, or an audible greeting
  • Travel at a sensible, safe speed and slow down when space is limited or you cannot see far ahead
  • Be careful around young children and animals as they are often unpredictable
  • Be courteous and patient with pedestrian and other path users.

Tips for other path users:

  • Keep to the left of any dividing line, or left of the path centre and walk in a predictable manner
  • Keep animals on short leads and under control and ensure children are well-supervised
  • Move off the path if you wish to stop
  • Use audio devices at low volume so you can hear what is going on around you
  • Cyclists will call out or ring their bell when they are about to pass.  It is a sign of courtesy, not a command to move off the path, but please move to the left and allow the bike to pass.

Cycling events

Each year Council hosts a number of events to promote cycling in Newcastle, including Bike Week and Ride2Work Day, which take place from September onwards.  NSW Bike Week is an annual celebration of cycling, encouraging people from all walks of like to get on a bike and ride.  Ride2Work encourages Australians to start riding to work and promotes commuting by bike as a regular habit.

Information on up-coming events can be found on our events page.

Cycle Skills and Bike Maintenance Workshops

Council is running a series of free cycle skills and bike maintenance workshops to improve cycling skills and confidence while riding. Classes are aimed at adults. Dates and details.


Bicycle Parking

Council provides bicycle racks at key locations throughout the local government area.  The Newcastle Development Control Plan requires that new development provide end of trip facilities, such as lockers and showers.  If you have suggestions for additional bike parking, contact Council on (02) 4974 2000 or mail@ncc.nsw.gov.au.  Secure bike lockers are available for hire at various train stations throughout NSW.  For details, visit  transport NSW

Bikes on Public Transport

If you are using an Opal card, you can take your bike on a Sydney or Intercity train for free at any time.  If you are using a paper ticket, you can take your bike for free on the weekend and during off-peak periods on weekdays.  You must buy a child's ticket for your bike as well as your own ticket if any of your weekday trip is made during peak hours (6am to 9am or 3.30pm - 7.30pm).

Folding bikes ride on Sydney and Intercity trains free of charge at all times, provided that the bike in its protective cover, is no larger than 82cm length x 69cm height x 39cm width, with a maximum wheel rim diameter of 51cm.

Bikes cannot be taken on buses in NSW.  Bikes are permitted on the Stockton Ferry, free of charge.  Check with the crew for location of the bike storage area.

Share the Road

Driving, riding or walking, the road is there to share.

  • Like your car, a bicycle is a legal vehicle with equal rights to share the road.  Please be considerate to cyclists when you see them on the road
  • Be patient, and give cyclists plenty of room when overtaking or turning.  Bicycle riders are entitled to a whole lane and can also travel two abreast (side by side) in a lane, provided they ride not more than 1.5 metres apart.  Leave at least one metre clearance when overtaking or passing
  • Watch out for young people on bikes.  Motorists need to be especially careful around young children.  Children on bikes are unpredictable so motorists need to slow down
  • Check for cyclists when you are getting out of your car and do not open car doors into the path of a cyclist.  This can force the cyclist into the path of other vehicles and any accident that follows is legally the motorist’s fault
  • Cyclists, like motorists have certain rights and responsibilities on the road.  Cyclists need to act responsibly and obey the traffic regulations
  • Bicycles should travel on the left side of the road.  It is illegal to ride a bike on the wrong side of a road or against traffic flow
  • Cyclists must indicate by hand signals when they are going to turn or stop.  It indicates to other road users what the cyclist is going to do
  • Bicycles ridden at night must have proper lighting.  A cyclist must display a bright white light to the front and a bright red light and red reflector to the rear.  Increase your visibility at all times with bright clothing and reflective high-vis clothing, especially at night
  • Cyclists must correctly wear an approved helmet, securely fitted and fastened.