Streets as Shared Spaces Trial Activation, Darby Street

Page hero image

Extended outdoor dining options are here to stay following a successful six-month Streets as Shared Spaces (SaSS) trial.

The SaSS trial, which officially ended on 28 February 2023, was designed to encourage increased visitation and trade along Darby Street after the impacts of COVID-19 while also improving pedestrian and cyclist safety.

On Tuesday, 28 March 2023 Council voted to permanently retain the trial infrastructure, following a review of the extensive consultation, that was undertaken by CN with businesses, residents and the community before and during the trial.

The trial was made possible with a $500,000 grant from the NSW State Government through the Streets as Shared Spaces program (Round 2).

Key features of the trial included:

  • Improved safety and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists with the installation of traffic calming infrastructure to reduce driver speeds.
  • New paving, lighting and public art including murals to inject new life into the Headphones Courtyard.
  • A new pedestrian crossing leading to the courtyard to improve accessibility and safety.
  • Extended outdoor dining space and widened footpath between Sanctum and Goldbergs restaurants.
  • A mobile trailer parklet providing additional seating.
Pedestrian Crossing, Darby St

Pedestrian Crossing

Chalk the Walk, Newcastle

Outdoor Dining Deck

Headphones Courtyard

Parking in the Darby Street Precinct

Changes to parking were a key focus for business owners throughout the trial. CN addressed this through the conversion of existing 8P Ticket spaces in the Queen Street off-street car park (at the rear of the City Library), to 2P free parking.

Darby Street has also been selected as a location for Smart Parking Sensors, in response to feedback received during the SaSS trial, and further consultation with businesses about parking. Data from the parking sensors will be used to better understand current parking behaviours and help us to identify opportunities to optimise parking spaces in the area, making it easier for people to find a park. More information on parking sensors can be found here.

Have your say

Thank you to everyone that shared their thoughts and experiences on the Darby Street - Streets as Shared Spaces trial. Your feedback helped to inform which elements of the trial were retained and what areas could be improved.

To find out more on Darby Street community feedback visit

Revised Traffic Calming Concept Designs

We are developing revised concept designs in response to community feedback about noise being generated by the speed cusions at the southern entry of the 30km/h zone along Darby Street and cyclist safety concerns at the northern entry. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on these designs via our online survey. Feedback has now closed. We are currently reviewing your feedback and will report back soon.

To find out more visit

Latest news

24 March 2023 - Darby Street's outdoor dining on the table to stay

08 Feb 2023 - Darby Street trial creates record trade boom for local businesses

13 Oct 2022 - Community invited to join the party on Darby Street

29 Sep 2022 - Darby Street outdoor dining transformation begins

17 Aug 2022 - Council to consider Darby Street trial concept following support from community

15 May 2022 - New ideas for improved public space coming to Darby Street