Project update

Thanks for having your say! Concept designs for pedestrian and cyclist improvements on Memorial Drive, Bar Beach were approved by Council on 26 March 2024. Read below to find out what we heard.

Detailed design for this project is underway. We will continue to update the community as the project progresses.


We recently sought feedback on an upgrade of the existing pedestrian crossing at Memorial Drive to a raised pedestrian crossing, and upgrade of the existing refuge island on Bar Beach Avenue.

These upgrades will improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users at Bar Beach.

Stage 1 works include:

  • Upgrade of the existing pedestrian crossing on Memorial Drive to a raised pedestrian crossing, with provision for a future priority crossing for cyclists.
  • Removal of the existing refuge island on Memorial Drive.
  • Installation of landscaped kerb extensions to reduce the crossing distance and improve sightlines for pedestrians.
  • Construction of a new median to prevent u-turns at the crossing.

Stage 2 works include:

  • Upgrade of the existing pedestrian refuge on Bar Beach Avenue to cater for cyclists.
  • Providing a new shared path connection between Bar Beach Avenue and the raised pedestrian crossing, creating a new cycling connection between Bathers Way and Bar Beach.
  • Upgrade of street lighting to meet relevant Australian Standards (subject to lighting assessment).

Why has this been proposed?

The existing crossing between Empire Park and Cooks Hill Surf Club requires pedestrians to cross in three stages, using a refuge island on Memorial Drive, and an island between Memorial Drive and the carpark exit. The current staged crossing creates confusion for some drivers and the length of this crossing limits accessibility for pedestrians.

A cycling connection between Bar Beach and Parkway Avenue was identified in our Newcastle Cycling Plan 2021-2030 to improve access and connectivity.

The upgrades will improve safety, accessibility and align with best practice design principles.

Thanks for having your say!

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the proposed upgrade of the existing crossing at Memorial Drive and refuge island on Bar Beach Avenue to improve safety for all road users.

What we heard

During public exhibition, 89 submissions were received. 79 of these community members supported the proposal (including 22 with changes) and 10 submissions did not support the proposal.

Key themes

Many respondents expressed their support for the upgrades to improve safety in the area. Suggestions for improvement included additional traffic calming devices on Memorial Drive, a pedestrian crossing facility on Bar Beach Avenue, and reduction of the speed limit in Memorial Drive to 40km/h or 30 km/h.

Some concerns were raised regarding the priority cyclist crossing and how it will interact with Bathers Way users. The upgrade of this crossing is considered as part of CN's adopted Cycling Plan, and therefore, the provision for a priority crossing for cyclists is included in future planned works. Different pavement surfaces on the kerb extension and refuge island will reduce cycling speeds at the crossing. The kerb extension will create more space, enabling cyclists to join Bathers Way with more calm and care once the crossing is upgraded.