Transport Minister Blocks Track Free Trams

Wednesday 8 November 2017

The State Government has backed away from an agreement to investigate a 21st Century solution for transport woes on Parramatta Road.

It has decided not to honour a Memorandum of Understanding it signed with Inner West Council to provide $80,000 each for a feasibility study on how track-free trams could be delivered in Sydney.

Council’s plan for a modern transport solution last week won a national award from the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport for its innovative approach to public transport.

Mayor of the Inner West Cr Darcy Byrne said that the State Government was trying to walk away from the investigation of an award winning plan due to outrageous political interference from Andrew Constance.

“Andrew Constance is more interested in ripping off the inner west than solving congestion,” he said.

“The award for Excellence in Moving People is solid proof track-free trams are a serious contender as a transport solution for Parramatta Road.

“International transport experts and the Government’s own specialists know that it’s a solution, but all Andrew Constance cares about is ideology, not evidence.”

Inner West Council undertook a study on how to improve Parramatta Road which considered Light Rail – which the State Government has now ruled out – dedicated Diesel Bus lanes and Guided Electric Transit Systems (track-free trams).

Guided Electric Transit Systems are a leading edge technology now used in cities around the globe. It uses optical technology to guide electrically powered carriages similar to trams down narrow road corridors.

They do not require tracks to be laid, can be installed for a fraction of the cost of Light Rail and takes less space than light rail carriages.

They can also move twice as many commuters as the State Government’s proposed rapid transit diesel buses and, being electrically run, are far more environmentally friendly.

“In contrast to Light Rail, we don’t need to rip up roads or acquire properties to put in track-free trams. Following the destruction wrought by WestConnex, this could be the answer the inner west is looking for,” said Cr Byrne.

“With State Government backing, this contemporary public transport project could be delivered within five years without the enormous cost and destruction of light rail.

“Putting track-free trams along Parramatta Road could transform the area by reducing the reliance on cars, reactivating street frontages and making the area more pedestrian friendly.”

While this 21st Century technology is being used internationally, it would be the first system of its type in Australia.

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