Pressure applied by local governments in Sydney is reaping results as initial work on the highly-anticipated energy efficient light rail development is now expected to begin in 2015.
Recently, both and state and federal governments were left facing irate councils, including the Parramatta City Council, who argued that there was a lack of government action to alleviate the stiff Sydney city congestion.
“There’s always plenty of talk about transport matters – whether it’s the congestion on Parramatta or Victoria roads – or lack of efficiency and service – on our public transport networks, but unfortunately there’s not enough action,” said Parramatta Lord Mayor Councillor Lorraine Wearne.
However, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore is now confident the rail project will go ahead as early as 2015, with a predicted completion date by 2022.
“We are all hopefully anticipating an announcement from the Minister for Transport in the near future,” says Moore. “Our officers are working with the officers of state transport and we believe that there is very positive movement in terms of addressing the urgent needs of the global city of Australia.”
Moore states that public consideration is the number one priority and, while confirming that “industry leaders admitted that building a tram down Sydney’s busiest street would come at commuter pain”, she says the overall infrastructure is vital in the efficient running of the city.
“I think it’s critical for the future of Sydney,” says Moore. “We want construction to start by 2015 or sooner. We want the least disruptive construction program.”
Property Council of Australia NSW executive director Glenn Byres backs Moore’s statements, confirming that speed will be the vital tool in order to create more efficiency, rather than simply compounding Sydney’s current congestion issues.
“There needs to be sensitivity and consultation to the disruption that is going to occur,” says Byres. “Like with the (state government’s rebuilding) of the Convention Centre, you have to do it quickly and get on with it.”
Trams are expected to run every few minutes, ensuring efficient commuting times in Sydney once again.
In order for the new light rail to function efficiently as a part of the city’s infrastructure, further changes to roads and bus routes will also be taken into consideration and undertaken if assessed to be necessary.
The light rail project is back on track. The swift response from Moore has instilled confidence back into the various local councils, even if further state government confirmation has yet to be made.