Light Rail Push for Parramatta Road

Inner West Council and Canada Bay Council are calling on the State Government to think ahead and implement world class public transport options along Parramatta Road on the back of new research.

A joint study commissioned by Inner West Council and Canada Bay Council has backed the viability of a light rail transport system running along Parramatta Road between the Sydney CBD and Strathfield. The study advocates for services to run every eight minutes from 6am till 10pm including a loop connecting commuters to Burwood and Strathfield rail stations.

The call comes following the State Government’s announcement yesterday of further details on its Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Strategy.

Inner West Council administrator Richard Pearson and City of Canada Bay Mayor Helen McCaffrey said the study was undertaken on the basis that the WestConnex motorway’s original approval stipulated at least two lanes along Parramatta Road be dedicated for public transport.

“The study backs investment in public transport as a well-proven catalyst for urban transformation like the proposed Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Strategy,” Mr Pearson said.

“Light Rail would be the ultimate long term choice, but a guided electric vehicle system is also a viable option that would be cheaper and quicker to get in place.

“In comparison, the rapid bus system proposed by the Strategy is a poor public transport option given the volume of added traffic that the Strategy’s considerable retail and commercial development will deliver. A rapid bus system will also take out vital kerbside parking which a centre running light rail will not.”

Mr Pearson added it is critical that light rail works are done in tandem with the WestConnex works now rather than needing to retrofit these sections.

“Delaying the project would only make it more difficult to build down the track, when the increased traffic demand unleashed by WestConnex hits Parramatta Road,” he said.

Both Councils advocate a light rail or GEV system running from Strathfield to the Sydney CBD would bring many benefits to the redeveloped area including more attractive, connected neighbourhoods that are less dependent on private vehicles.

City of Canada Bay Mayor Helen McCaffrey said “We recognise that growth is important but we need to ensure that it is well designed to deliver for the community – not just those that live in the area now, but into the future.

“This opportunity provides a catalyst to reactivate Parramatta Road as a place for people – particularly near the Precincts identified in the Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Strategy,” Mayor McCaffrey said.

“However ensuring the public transport infrastructure is in place as part of the development of Parramatta Rd is going to be paramount to its success,” said the Mayor.

“Early implementation of a highly effective public transport system is instrumental in achieving the NSW Government’s vision for Parramatta Road that was set out by WestConnex in its early business case,” added Mr Pearson. - ENDS -

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Page last updated: 03 Jun 2022