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There is much in the infrastructure projects being undertaken by the NSW Government. Not much of it is particularly good for the people of the State.
Clearly, the tramline own George St. is a good development. Tramlines are for passengers making short journeys. The city railway is good but most of the stations are some distance from the street and are not always convenient for passengers. The tramway will solve this.
The worst is the lack of overall planning for most of these projects. The decision on tunnel sizes for the NW rai line before determining the rolling stock along with the failure to incorporate the extended proposal into an integrated transport network is a glaring example of poor decision making. The claim that it this line will have a capacity of 44,000 passengers an hour against 24,000 for the DD network is deliberately misleading. An 8 car DD set has seats for 1,000 passengers plus standing room. At 22 trains an hour this is over 40,000 passengers an hour. The 6 car, small profile trains ordered, would not be able to hold anything like 1,000 passengers at crush load. At a train every 4 minutes the maximum capacity is about 12,000 passengers an hour.
The eastern suburbs tramline is a clear mistake. The passenger demand to the city long ago exceed the capacity of a tramway so it is proposed to use coupled sets of 5 sector Citadis class trams. Another mistake is that it is being designed as a trunk line to the city whereas tramways are for short length journeys. The line should have been the long planned extension of the existing railway from Bondi Junction to Kensington and extended further.
Nothing is more ugly than the wanton destruction of several kms of century old fig trees along Anzac Parade and Alison Rd. These trees prospered with the old tramlines prior to 1961. No explanation has been given why the new tramway needs them to be removed.
The many years of deliberate misrepresentation; obfuscation and lack of meaningful consultation in Newcastle has no redeeming feature at all. Every month that passes brings forth new revelations. This is no way to run anything.
THE WASTE OF MONEY:
The biggest waste of money is the NorthConnex motorway linking the M1 at Wahroonga to the M2 at West Pennant Hills. The traffic problems of Pennant Hills Rd need urgent attention. This is not it. The most recent traffic survey of the area was nearly 15 years ago in 2002. Traffic volumes have increased substantially since then. To relieve Pennant Hills Rd the only LONG TERM solution is a new crossing of the Hawkesbury River upstream from Peats Ferry. The connections would need to come off the M1 around North Wyong then join the M7 near Quakers Hill. At the same time this road is built so should a parallel railway line principally for freight traffic. They should be built together, simultaneously. The rail line would also come off near North Wyong. There would be a junction with the western line near Rooty Hill. The line should continue to follow the M7 towards Liverpool and provide direct access to the freight terminals at Minto & Ingleburn as well as the new facility at Moorebank.
In transport we have been getting ad hoc decision making driven by ideology. Ideology never delivers practical solutions. Some forward thinking, integrated planning, is needed in this area.
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