Light rail works: WestConnex won't

Media reports that a detailed plan for light rail along Parramatta Road has been scrapped by the government.

Jamie Parker said: 

“Light rail is the best solution for Parramatta Road - that's why we've been campaigning for so many years to get this service. We collected over 10,000 signatures on our petition thanks to huge support from local businesses and residents. We’re still optimistic that this overwhelming community support will see a light rail service implemented on Parramatta Road.

Now the government’s own plans have demonstrated the outstanding merits of a light rail service.  Light rail will allow bus routes to be redesigned across the Inner West, so that fewer buses would have to travel east-west along Parramatta Road, so more could run north and south through the area.

The light rail project would also regenerate Parramatta Road, making travelling, living or shopping there a far more pleasant experience and improving retail and business opportunities.

Using Parramatta Road could be as easy as settling in to check emails or read a book in a comfortable light rail carriage. A light rail service along Parramatta Road would be faster than the existing bus system, more efficient and would help people across the Inner West get where they need to go faster and more easily.

Light rail can provide fast, reliable and environmentally sustainable transport. Compared with alternatives, it's cheap and quick to build.

A light rail line can carry 7,500 people an hour, compared with a traffic lane that can carry fewer than 2,000.

A joined up light rail network including Parramatta Road would be more effective than buses in moving large numbers of passengers in and out of the city.

However, what we’ve seen today is that the government is fixated on delivering profits for private road and construction companies, rather than investing in world class public transport. 

The projected cost of $2.7 billion for this public transport solution is a fraction of the $16.8 billion the government is wasting on the destructive and polluting Westconnex tollway.

We’ll be taking this opportunity to build on the strong community support and step up our advocacy for light rail on Parramatta Road.

We’ll continue to press the government to invest in people and public transport, not pollution and private roads.” 

Mehreen Faruqi said:

“Scrapping plans for a much needed Light Rail project in favour of the wasteful and polluting Westconnex is yet another reminder of this Government’s obsession with toll roads.

“This Government’s over reliance on motorways is proving to be disastrous today and will further exacerbate Sydney’s congestion tomorrow.”


Showing 5 reactions

  • Maxwell Hoogedeure
    commented 2017-07-28 17:49:46 +1000
    I don’t understand the State Governments issue.
    They have an opportunity to screw up again with a 3rd light rail gauge.
  • Brenda Gottsche
    commented 2017-07-28 17:32:58 +1000
    What do we have to do to convince this government that light rail is the way to go! Aren’t our elected representatives working for us? Brenda Gottsche
  • Nathan English
    commented 2017-07-27 20:56:59 +1000
    Now is the time to push the FACT that Jamie Parker achieved an online petition with 12,000+ signatories supporting an expansion of light rail down Parramatta Road and to the Balmain Peninsula. That’s huge support which Jamie needs to leverage at this critical time. The Berejiklian Government should not be allowed to diss these concepts in favour of motorways alone. A West Metro will also not prove comprehensive enough to decongest the area, given the infrequency of stops. The people of the Inner west deserve more surface rail, not just buses and underground roads – quality, comfortable light rail will equal relief from congestion and tolls!
  • Alan Luchetti
    commented 2017-07-23 13:13:09 +1000
    When advocating for WestConnex, it was imperative to promise decreased traffic on Parramagtta Road and to underline that selling point by the promise of a tram service.

    Now that WestConnex is underway, all of its enabling selling points have done their job and all enabling promises can be withdrawn. And they must be withdrawn because the road lobby wants as many lanes on Parramatta Road as possible. Despite its pre-WestConnex denials, it knows that the project will induce demand for road use as well as divert it.
  • Patrick Li
    commented 2017-07-23 12:55:44 +1000
    Hi Jamie
    I do know light rail works a hundred times better than Westconnex! Think about having to queue in a mischievous traffic light. It is much better to create a free flowing transport system.

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