No future for Parramatta Road in Future Transport Strategy
Monday 23 October 2017
It is farcical that the Government’s Future Transport Strategy makes no mention of the future of Parramatta Road, the Mayor of Inner West Council, Darcy Byrne said today.
Mayor Byrne said despite continued lobbying to try and get the Government to look to the future and investigate the feasibility of an innovative Guided Electric Transit System (GETS) or track-free tram system on Parramatta Road the plan didn’t even rate a mention.
“It’s nothing short of a farce that the Government so-called Future Transport Strategy fails to even mention the future of Parramatta Road,” Mayor Byrne said.
“I’m bitterly disappointed for the people of the inner west that no new ideas have been put forward to fix one of Sydney’s most congested arteries.
“Everyone knows that congestion of Parramatta Road is one of Sydney’s greatest challenges.
“Yet the critical need to address traffic and transport issues along one of Sydney’s busiest and most blighted corridors wasn’t even mentioned among the 63 projects the Government listed for the Central District.
“Innovative guided electric transport technology exists that is cheaper and less destructive than Light Rail which the Government has already ruled out.
“Track-free trams might just be the answer thousands of commuters are looking for to fix one of Sydney’s most congested road corridors and transform Parramatta Road.
“This would be a game-changing option to breathe new life into Parramatta Road and with backing from the State Government, this cutting-edge public transport project could be delivered within five years without the enormous cost of light rail and without the destruction of ripping up roads.
“Putting track-free trams along Parramatta Road would transform the area by reducing the reliance on cars, reactivating street frontages and making the area more pedestrian friendly.”
Mayor Byrne said Inner West Council had undertaken a study to look at how to improve Parramatta Road which considered Light Rail, dedicated Diesel Bus lanes and Guided Electric Transit System (GETS) or track-free trams.
Track-free trams emerged as the preferred option on the basis of low disruptions to commuters, speed of implementation, cost-effectiveness, environmental considerations and the ability to be accommodated within the existing carriageway.
Using a scorecard developed by New York’s Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), the system rates as world’s best practice and is being rolled out in many cities across Europe and North America. While track-free trams are being used internationally, it would be the first system of its type in Australia.