Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced light rail would be built through the Sydney CBD to Randwick and Kingsford to reduce congestion and revitalise the city.
The estimated $1.6 billion 12 kilometre light rail project will link Circular Quay and Central via George Street, the Moore Park sporting and entertainment precinct including the Sydney Cricket Ground and Allianz Stadium, Randwick Racecourse, the University of NSW and Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick.
Light rail will be built in parallel with the implementation of a redesigned bus network to significantly reduce the number of buses clogging the CBD during the peak.
Around 40 per cent of George Street will be pedestrianised, between Bathurst Street and Hunter Street, for light rail – meaning 60 per cent of George Street will still be accessible to private vehicles.
“This is a once-in-a-generation project to revitalise the centre of Sydney by reducing congestion and offering a fast, attractive public transport option to key locations,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“The NSW Government is getting on with the job of building for the future.”
There’s already another well advanced plan for extending the existing inner-west light-rail line significantly, as shown below:
And here’s the CBD and southeast scheme:Looking at the light-rail plans in a bit more detail, there are some remarkable similarities between what Sydney is trying to achieve through a number of public transport initiatives and what Auckland’s trying to achieve through the City Rail Link. Things like:
- Reducing the number of buses travelling along busy inner city streets
- Providing better reliability and service quality for public transport
- Improving the pedestrian experience of the inner city
- Boosting employment and economic growth
For example, Sydney really struggles with the huge number of buses entering its CBD during the peak period – which this light-rail project as well as a reorganisation of the bus network will help resolve.I do wonder why centre-right politicians in Australia don’t seem to have the same ideological dislike of public transport as seems to be the case in New Zealand.