Sydney, even more than other Australian cities, needs improved public transport.
We need it to:
- Ease congestion in the CBD
- Reduce travel times
- Provide comfortable, safe travel to and from work
- Reduce our dependence on cars
- Save on the cost of fuel
- Reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming
- Make our city vibrant and attractive to investors
- Make our city a pleasant place for visitors
WE WELCOME every initiative to provide better bus, train and ferry services.
HOWEVER there is one initiative we can implement quickly, easily and cheaply that will help achieve all of the above, and is also accessible to wheelchairs, strollers and bikes.
The Glebe Society says
EXTEND LIGHT RAIL TO CIRCULAR QUAY
The City of Sydney proposes a link of this fast, modern mass transit system extending down and up Castlereagh Street to the Quay. This is the most readily achievable, economical and effective way of reducing congestion and travel times in the CBD.
The Glebe Society asks its members to
SUPPORT LIGHT RAIL TO THE QUAY
by writing to and emailing the NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, John Watkins, Minister for Transport, and Sandra Nori, Minister for Tourism and MLA for Port Jackson.
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The Glebe Society recognised the need for improved public transport instead of more roads over 30 years ago:
- Glebe Society Monograph No.1 – "An Alternative to Inner Urban Expressways", 1972
- Glebe Society Monograph No.2 – "A Northwestern Railway instead of the Expressway"
- Glebe Society Monograph No.3 – "Better Public Transport in Sydney’s Inner Western & South-Eastern Suburbs", 1980
Time has proved the Society correct, in the scrapping of the expressway that was planned to bisect Glebe, simply to allow more cars to access the Central Business District of Sydney.
The Society supports the implementation of a metropolitan transport strategy that gives priority to public investment in public transport instead of private transport. Investment in light rail is an investment for the future of Sydney. In contrast, the recent construction of the Cross-City Tunnel has provided lesser benefits. However it has the ability of taking away east-west traffic from CBD streets, which will allow a new light rail service along Castlereagh Street to be operated with little side effects on traffic circulation in the CBD.
The Society supports the City of Sydney in other complimentary measures, such as strict controls on car parking in Central Sydney. The parking available to Central Sydney commuters needs to be restricted and reduced. In addition, the Society supports the introduction of congestion tolling of vehicles entering Central Sydney. The introduction of electronic tolling for motorways now allows the implementation of this measure, to act as a disincentive to unnecessary private travel in Central Sydney. Such tolls could in turn be used to cross-subsidize the light rail extension.
The State Government is failing in dealing with the increasing pressures on the Sydney transport system. Options such as the recently announced plan to add an extra two lanes to the low level opening bridge at The Spit, at a cost of $50M, are not the most cost-effective ways of reducing travel times. This option only benefits counter-peak traffic, with benefits lost at the choke points on the hills at either end. In contrast, this investment towards the extension of the Light Rail could provide long term benefits to Central Sydney commuters and visitors.
Central Sydney needs a catalyst for public transport improvement, a sign to car-borne commuters that changes are essential if Sydney and the inner suburbs are to continue to develop. Priority MUST be given to public transport over private transport.