Food delivery riders are being warned they face fines if they take a shortcut through Sydney's motorway tunnels, amid a spike in cyclists entering the Westconnex M4-East.

Heart-stopping footage obtained by 9News shows one Hungry Panda rider wearing a face mask and walking his bike through the tunnel, while looking at his mobile phone. He's eventually reached by the tunnel's incident response team, who load his bike into the truck and drive him to safety.

Westconnex CEO Andrew Head said there's been a rise in incidents over May, as coronavirus restrictions see more people turn to food delivery apps.

"I hold my breath when I see these incidents, always hoping that they're not going to end in tragedy," he said.

In another incident on May 15, a different delivery rider cruises down the ramp at the Haberfield entrance, with cars and trucks travelling past him at 80km/h, narrowly avoiding him.

He ends up exiting at the Concord interchange, clearly lost, changing lanes at the last minute to get out of the tunnel.

Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon warned delivery riders can get confused, if they don't have their phone GPS on the right settings.

"On their GPS, if they don't tick bicycle on the map, then it won't take them on the bicycle route," he said.

There are signs at every entrance advising pedestrians and cyclists not to enter but this year there have already been 15 people ride and walk into the tunnel illegally. Of those 15 incidents, six occurred within 12 days in May, at the height of COVID-19 restrictions.

Article by Liz Daniels

9News Online

May 25th 2020