Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

uart
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Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby uart » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:47 am

I'm interested to hear from any Newcastle riders here who often (or even occasionally) ride Stockton bridge to/from Kooragang Island.

I've only ridden it a few times, but I always hate it. I'm not particularly fast on the uphill section, so I don't feel confident enough to take a lane in 80+ km/h traffic there.

Just wondering if any locals have some tips here. I've noticed there is what looks like a pedestrian walkway going up the centre, but TBH I'm not even sure how you get on or off that thing (I'm guessing that there must be steps or something from underneath the bridge somewhere).

Any tips?
Thanks. :)

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.884 ... 6656?hl=en

duncanm
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby duncanm » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:22 pm

Western access - looks dodgy. https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.8846307,151.7810944,3a,60y,198.18h,94.2t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sP4319D1TRNwYaMiC38saZg!2e0!7i3328!8i1664?hl=en

I presume East is the same - opencyclemap shows the access.

The Ferry is much nicer.

piledhigher
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby piledhigher » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:31 pm

duncanm wrote:Western access - looks dodgy. https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.8846307,151.7810944,3a,60y,198.18h,94.2t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sP4319D1TRNwYaMiC38saZg!2e0!7i3328!8i1664?hl=en

I presume East is the same - opencyclemap shows the access.

The Ferry is much nicer.


Strava has three distinct lines across the bridge so some must use both options.

https://www.strava.com/heatmap#17.50/15 ... 31/hot/all

uart
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby uart » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:28 pm

duncanm wrote:Western access - looks dodgy. ...I presume East is the same


Yeah I did eventually find the western access on street view. Walk across a field and climb a set of narrow stairs. Another bit of infrastructure to give a big F-U to cyclists. :(

Streetview hasn't been there, but presumably the eastern access is something similar - from the little road that runs alongside the river here: https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.884 ... !1e3?hl=en

The Ferry is much nicer.

Yeah I've taken the ferry a few times, Kooragang is more convenient if coming from the western suburbs though.

adsjax
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby adsjax » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:46 pm

There's a marked and paved cycleway to the bottom of the stairs on the western side. Haven't seen the eastern side yet

uart
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby uart » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:20 pm

adsjax wrote:There's a marked and paved cycleway to the bottom of the stairs on the western side. Haven't seen the eastern side yet

If there is, then I can't see it from google maps?
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.884 ... !1e3?hl=en
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.884 ... 1664?hl=en

Just wondering adsjax, have you ridden this bridge?

I'd like to know how accessible those stairs are with a bike, and in particular am interested to hear from people who have actually ridden it.

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queequeg
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby queequeg » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:32 pm

uart wrote:
adsjax wrote:There's a marked and paved cycleway to the bottom of the stairs on the western side. Haven't seen the eastern side yet

If there is, then I can't see it from google maps?
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.884 ... !1e3?hl=en
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.884 ... 1664?hl=en

Just wondering adsjax, have you ridden this bridge?

I'd like to know how accessible those stairs are with a bike, and in particular am interested to hear from people who have actually ridden it.


It looks pretty inviting - NOT!

https://goo.gl/maps/hkqHuqS4gCG2

I seem to recall, when I last race dout at Kooragang that I looked at these stairs and saw a locked gate. I could be wrong, but they don't exactl scream "use me"
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby ironhanglider » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:32 pm

queequeg wrote:
uart wrote:
adsjax wrote:There's a marked and paved cycleway to the bottom of the stairs on the western side. Haven't seen the eastern side yet

If there is, then I can't see it from google maps?
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.884 ... !1e3?hl=en
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.884 ... 1664?hl=en

Just wondering adsjax, have you ridden this bridge?

I'd like to know how accessible those stairs are with a bike, and in particular am interested to hear from people who have actually ridden it.


It looks pretty inviting - NOT!

https://goo.gl/maps/hkqHuqS4gCG2

I seem to recall, when I last race dout at Kooragang that I looked at these stairs and saw a locked gate. I could be wrong, but they don't exactl scream "use me"


I see that there is a 9 year difference in the view from on the bridge looking down, to the view from the side road. From the on-bridge view there is actually some sort of bike infrastructure at that point. Might be worth a look.

Cheers,

Cameron
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adsjax
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby adsjax » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:51 pm

uart wrote:
adsjax wrote:There's a marked and paved cycleway to the bottom of the stairs on the western side. Haven't seen the eastern side yet

If there is, then I can't see it from google maps?
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.884 ... !1e3?hl=en
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.884 ... 1664?hl=en

Just wondering adsjax, have you ridden this bridge?

I'd like to know how accessible those stairs are with a bike, and in particular am interested to hear from people who have actually ridden it.


There's definitely a paved path now leading to the stairs from both on/off ramps. The google maps image is out of date. I haven't ridden the bridge but when driving past today on the way to work at a local industrial site, i remembered this thread and had a look.
The stairs look ok for a light road bike but no good for anyone touring. This is actually the sign posted cycle path across the bridge.
I'll post a pic if i go past there again

adsjax
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby adsjax » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:03 pm

And next time i head to Nelson Bay for work I'll see what's on the other side. I'm interested too as I'd like to ride to the Bay and back

uart
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby uart » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:05 pm

adsjax wrote:There's definitely a paved path now leading to the stairs from both on/off ramps. The google maps image is out of date. I haven't ridden the bridge but when driving past today on the way to work at a local industrial site, i remembered this thread and had a look.


Ok, thanks very much for that. :)

I'm heading over that way some time in the next week and will take a look too.

duncanm
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby duncanm » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:52 am

adsjax wrote:There's definitely a paved path now leading to the stairs from both on/off ramps. The google maps image is out of date. I haven't ridden the bridge but when driving past today on the way to work at a local industrial site, i remembered this thread and had a look.
The stairs look ok for a light road bike but no good for anyone touring. This is actually the sign posted cycle path across the bridge.
I'll post a pic if i go past there again


My bad - if you use google earth (as opposed to google maps) - you can scroll through more recent sat pics, and there's been a path there since early 2017.

ACME mapper also shows a more recent shot
https://mapper.acme.com/?ll=-32.915,151 ... th%20Wales

uart
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby uart » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:37 pm

duncanm wrote:ACME mapper also shows a more recent shot
https://mapper.acme.com/?ll=-32.915,151 ... th%20Wales


Thanks, that ACME map definitely shows the paved pathway on either side.

Yeah I know about google maps sometimes being well out of date. Not too long ago I was organizing a ride and looking on google maps for a good place to stop for lunch (in a particular suburb). On street view the whole flamin' suburb was missing, just bushland.

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queequeg
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby queequeg » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:45 pm

uart wrote:
duncanm wrote:ACME mapper also shows a more recent shot
https://mapper.acme.com/?ll=-32.915,151 ... th%20Wales


Thanks, that ACME map definitely shows the paved pathway on either side.

Yeah I know about google maps sometimes being well out of date. Not too long ago I was organizing a ride and looking on google maps for a good place to stop for lunch (in a particular suburb). On street view the whole flamin' suburb was missing, just bushland.


The best maps are from nearmap, but casual users are effectively locked out due to the high cost of a licence.
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WyvernRH
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby WyvernRH » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:56 pm

I would definitely vote for the ferry. By the time you've slogged up the bridge, along Kooragang and over the other bridge to Industrial Drive you could probably be down to Stockton, over the ferry and along the path or industrial Drive well toward Mayfield with a lot less stress.
I work in Hamilton now and BHP previously so the ferry was always the better route for me admittedly.

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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby ningnangnong » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:53 pm

I rode over the bridge (heading towards Williamtown) just over a month ago for the first time in a few years.

It was mid-morning on a Saturday, so there was a fair stream of traffic. Do not recommend it! Probably the most vulnerable I've felt riding in Newcastle TBH. No one sticks to the 80 limit there either, just to add to the experience.

Once you get over the crest, it's all good, but slugging your way up there is no fun at all. Next time I head out that way, I'll be doing it early morning, when there's hardly any traffic around.

That's my experience - no tips to share unfortunately! I have also often wondered about the pathway in the centre of the bridge, and whether there are any plans afoot to improve cycling infrastructure over the bridge.

uart
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby uart » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:56 pm

Thanks all for the info. I was over that way yesterday (in the car) so I parked and took a look at the steps, and snapped a few pics.

A bit rough, the first row of steps was fairly wide and not too steep, but the second row was a bit steeper and narrower. They are definitely going to be annoying if you are either wearing road cleats or are loaded for touring.

Western side entry.

1. Overall stairs.
Image

2. Upper stairs.
Image

3 Lower stairs.
Image

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singlespeedscott
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:38 am

The stairs look like a much better option than battling the traffic on the ascent. I used to live at Williamtown and never risked the bridge. The ferry at Stockton is really the only good option imo.
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uart
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby uart » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:07 pm

singlespeedscott wrote: I used to live at Williamtown and never risked the bridge.

Yeah it's not much fun, that's for sure. I've lived in the Newcastle area my whole life and in that time I've probably ridden over it a max of about three or four times.

The annoying thing is that they've just recently improved the road over Kooragang, and now both the main road and the Tourle St bridge (at the other end) have beautiful smooth wide shoulders that are perfect for cyclists! Meanwhile at the Stockton end we're still stuck with this big piece of "F-U cyclists" infrastructure from the 70s. :(

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singlespeedscott
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:03 pm

Way back then, 28 years ago :), the Tourle St bridge was another that I would avoid, and let’s not even discuss the Hexham bridge.
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uart
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby uart » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:42 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:Way back then, 28 years ago :), the Tourle St bridge was another that I would avoid, and let’s not even discuss the Hexham bridge.

The Stockton bridge has been open for about 47 years now (opened in 1971).

Interestingly, the New England highway between Newcastle and Maitland has become decidedly less cyclist friendly over the past 30 odd years. :(

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WyvernRH
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Re: Question for Newcastle riders. Stockton Bridge safety?

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:05 am

singlespeedscott wrote:Way back then, 28 years ago :), the Tourle St bridge was another that I would avoid, and let’s not even discuss the Hexham bridge.


The old Hexham bridge is pretty good heading South (to work for me) but the new one heading North is a disaster :( .
Narrow, quite steep, no side lane, fast moving slip lane joining from the left at the apex of the bridge arggh! Sadly it is really the only practicable way to head North up the highway to Raymond Terrace on the way home.

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