Redfern and Surry Hills residents have welcomed the opportunity to consult with the State Government and Transport for NSW over proposed traffic changes for Cleveland Street.

The opportunity comes after the Cleveland Street Action Group and the City of Sydney responded to the announcement of the changes, which include a 40 kmh speed limit and the blocking of some left and right turns along the route.

Annette Tolhurst, a Co-organizer of the Cleveland Street Action Group, told Urban Village that she did not necessarily oppose all the changes, and simply wanted a full and transparent consultation process the community.

“We are not saying we should scrap the plan,” she said.

“But let’s stop and do a proper impact assessment, and have full community consultation and consider the impacts.”

Tolhurst said her group was concerned that the proposed changes to Cleveland Street may make the main road safer and flow better, but could have an adverse impact on side streets.

She said her group was initiating a survey of residents on the issue, and was also doing independent analysis of the traffic data with the aim of putting a proposal to Transport for NSW to consider.

Earlier this week, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore called on the State Government to put an “immediate hold” on any works and “properly engage” with the community.

She described the proposed changes as a “mixed bag” and said she shared residents’ concerns that blocking turnoffs could create “rat runs and increase local congestion.”

A spokesperson for Transport for NSW told Urban Village the consultation process was aimed at improving safety and easing congestion “for all road users,” including the 49,000 motorists who used Cleveland Street each day.

Around 39,000 community members in Surry Hills, Redfern, Moore Park, Darlington and Chippendale had received a notification inviting them to submit online feedback, and these would be reviewed before any plans were finalized.

The spokesperson said there had been 217 reported crashes on Cleveland Street from 2014 to 2019, resulting in 42 serious injuries and one fatality.

“Around 12 percent of these incidents can be attributed to motorists turning right in to various streets from Cleveland Street and over 30 percent were rear end crashes,” the spokesperson said.

Both Harris Street in Ultimo and Oxford Street Paddington had similar crash histories, and right turns had been removed along these corridors, action which had seen a significant decrease in crashes and improved traffic flow.

Transport for NSW would continue to keep the community informed on planned changes for Cleveland Street.