SAR526, yes, I hear what you are saying. It's a terrible shame that even in the USA, the home of suburbia, they are going the other way now with the provision of quality public transport options and yet in this country there are still people like Tony Abbott and Martin Hamilton-Smith who still believe that the private car is the best option for everyone and in every situation.Maybe that is one reason why MH-S is no longer leader of the Liberal Party.
Here in Melbourne we have some extreme problems with traffic congestion and yet our esteemed premier Denis Napthine's answer is to fast-track a VERY EXPENSIVE and not-needed tunnel to connect the Eastern Freeway to City Link. It's not really wanted by anyone except maybe the trucking industry and it actually won't solve the problems that the Eastern Fwy causes to Hoddle Street because there won't be any additional exits to the city. In the meantime our trains get so crowded at peak times they are often impossible to physically board; this has happened to me often at my local station at the peak.
The problem is that we have a plutocracy in this country; very rich people make decisions that favor themselves and their friends and politicians of all persuasions just do as they're told. Tollways present lovely fat opportunities for merchant banks to gouge the public on tolls and consultancy fees whereas there's not much graft to be had in building public transport options; which do you think pollies are going to choose? Martin Hamilton-Smith is just doing as he's told by his political and economic backers -
In the meantime you have a rare situation in Adelaide where big money got spent on a decrepit and ancient rail system in an attempt to bring it in to the 21st century. With any luck the sheer popularity of the enhanced services will be evidence enough for the Liberals to keep on track with completing the project; as you would be aware from my posts I'm a former resident who can't believe they actually got around to spending the money either so with any luck a change of state government won't result in a wholesale abandonment of the improvement program.
Thanks also to you for your contributions to this board, the whole reason why I come here is because I'm interested in the opinions of other people even though you may not always agree with them; it's the quality of their argument that I'm interested in. It was also interesting to hear that you were in a counter-anti tram protest, I always admire people who actually get out there and wave a placard for things they want; pollies actually get scared of people who do that. The times that I've caught the new expanded tram service up King William street it's always been packed with tourists and locals - do you think Martin Hamilton-Smith would change his mind on account of that?
Having just returned from Melbourne improving pax transport will not deal with the huge volumes of commercial traffic moving east/west across Melbourne.
Same applies to Adelaide. Rail electrification will not improve conditions on South Road at Edwardstown and Croydon; these sites are major chokes to commercial transport movement.
The only problems changing governments will face is significant budget deficits in economic conditions which many suggest will get more difficult. Infrastructure spending is something which can be deferred and unfortunately it often has to be.
I fear that it may take a generation for the true value of electrification to be realised due the cultural and demographic changes needed for it to be people's mode of choice.