New infrastructure plan fails Sydney CBD

Infrastructure NSW's new strategy shows they are out of touch with what businesses, stakeholders, transport experts and the community want for the future of our city and in particular George Street.

Light rail is the solution to the gridlock our city centre faces each day. It would drastically reduce traffic congestion, making it easier for bus passengers, cyclists and pedestrians to get around the city.

Light rail has the support of the Australian National Retailers Association and the Committee for Sydney. The Transport and Tourism Forum said in May that there was a once in a lifetime consensus for light rail down George Street.

On the 10 January 2012, Premier O'Farrell told the SMH that he was "absolutely" attracted to the idea of light rail in the central business district. "We understand there's … no point in having light rail to Sydney University or to UNSW unless it connects to something. And getting light rail into the CBD I think is important - and if it wasn't important before, it is certainly important I think in the context of Barangaroo."

Replacing plans for light rail with a poorly thought out, difficult to implement and unpleasant to use, network of underground buses could squander the trust Sydney has put in the Government to fix transport.

The proposed construction of an underground bus network would cause far greater disruption to the city and cost more than running light rail along the surface of George Street. Concentrated diesel fumes would also have to be pumped to the surface at George Street, calling for significant stations and exhaust systems.

Whereas our research shows will light rail will regenerate George Street.

Will this be yet another missed opportunity to fix the traffic gridlock, noise, pollution and delays that slow the city down every day, costing Sydney billions of dollars each year?

The avoidable cost of traffic congestion for Sydney, as calculated by the Federal Department of Transport's Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics, was $4 billion, rising to $8 billion in 2020.

Light rail can carry up to 8,000 people an hour - a modern, low-floor tram will get more people across the city faster with low environmental impacts.

The City has already committed $180 million to widen footpaths, improve lighting, signage, drainage, landscaping, traffic management and revitalising laneways.


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