I am surprised about the Premier's announcement of a joint Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee.
I am interested in finding out how it will differ from current working arrangements, given the City has limited powers and the NSW Government already has to approve all of the City's transport projects - including all bike routes.
City staff regularly consult and work closely with NSW transport agencies.
For example, the City is part of the Transport Minister's Light Rail Round Table. We are represented on the Barangaroo Transport Task Force and Sydney's Local Pedestrian, Cycling and Traffic Calming Committee, a State Government Committee under the Roads and Maritime Services agency, is chaired by a City Councillor and deals with all transport projects and issues in the City.
This Committee has more State representatives than City representatives and is open and accountable to the public. We hope the Premier isn't planning to take this behind closed doors.
The City has neither stopped anything the State has sought to improve transport, nor has the City done anything without State approval.
So unless this new panel has any authority or funding to take action, it will be in danger of becoming just another level of bureaucracy - the kind this Government has unfortunately become infamous for.
Sydney needs action not bureaucracy.
Everyone knows the City is facing worsening congestion. To solve this problem we need all levels of government working together in a serious and constructive way.
We need to make sure we have a co-ordinated approach - and as we have stated on many occasions the City is determined to work constructively with the State.
Despite the rhetoric, it's important to note that the City and State Government share targets for improving transport in Sydney. For example, we both want 80 per cent of people commuting to the city centre to do so by public transport and we both want to see 10 per cent of all trips to be achieved by cycling.
Our draft Connecting the City plan outlines how we plan to meet these targets. Given we are yet to hear how the Premier plans to meet his own targets, I hope this new Committee will shed some light and give hope to the many people frustrated by Sydney's transport problems.
State targets include increasing the share of commuter trips by public transport to Sydney CBD in peak hours to 80 per cent, more than doubling bicycle trips and increasing the share of walking trips to 25 per cent all by 2016.
The City's targets are:
- 5 per cent reduction in public transport travel time to the city by 2020;
- Reduce pedestrian delays at the city's 20 most important intersections by 10 per cent;
- Improve speed of on-street public transport by 10 per cent by 2015;
- Ensure sufficient on-and-off street loading capacity for commercial vehicles;
- An 8 per cent increase in public transport capacity by 2015 and 35 per cent by 2036;
- 10 per cent of local trips by bike and 50 per cent by walking by 2030;
- All major land-use developments to have approved and funded transport plans by 2015.
I look forward to a proper briefing that doesn't involve a late night phone call from a journalist tipping me off about the Premier's latest announcement.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP
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