Keeping Sydney Moving
Keeping Sydney moving
This year starts with a tremendous sense of opportunity for Sydney – and an increasingly urgent challenge.
One of the biggest projects is the NSW Government’s $1.6 billion expansion of light rail from Randwick to Circular Quay. With the announcement construction will begin in 2014, Central Sydney is set for the biggest transport overhaul in decades.
We are pleased the government backed our calls for central George Street to be pedestrianised between Bathurst Street and Hunter streets, with cross streets open.
As part of that work we will open up a network of vibrant lanes and small plazas, greatly increasing pedestrian amenity and small business opportunities, and have committed $180 million towards the project.
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 lower environmental impacts.
Doing nothing is not an option. Congestion costs Sydney an estimated $5.1 billion a year and that’s projected to rise to $8.8 billion by 2021. Our train system is reaching capacity, bus passengers face delays, our roads are gridlocked, and our footpaths are overcrowded.
While the announcement that the government will invest in light rail is very welcome, there are real fears that people’s homes and Moore Park will be impacted if the line is built at street level.
I have contacted state and federal ministers to urge them to fund a tunnel from Central Station to the SCG under Devonshire Street. A tunnel will be faster, cheaper over the life of the system, and provides far better service for events at Moore Park. The City will continue lobbying for the tunnel and I will raise the issue in Canberra when I am there speaking with federal ministers in March.
I believe it’s imperative the Federal Government helps fund important infrastructure projects in Sydney – the global city of Australia. They should assist the NSW Government in funding this critical transport project to ensure it delivers the benefits we need.
I urge you to contact your local state and federal MP and let them know that a tunnel is the right option for light rail in Surry Hills, for the sports arenas and for getting students to and from UNSW.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore
Pictured: Artist's impression of light rail on George Street.
Last updated: Friday, 15 February 2013