Tuesday, 17 March 2020 13:13

North-south investment critical to 30-minute vision

Train approaching Blacktown on the Western Rail Line Train approaching Blacktown on the Western Rail Line

Media release, 17 March, 2020

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on the NSW Government to prioritise north-south rail connections following the release of Transport for NSW’s latest Household Travel Survey.

WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “The changes in commute times outlined in NSW’s latest household travel survey are far from surprising, with massive time increases for Western Sydney growth areas.

“The NSW Government has made huge investments in Sydney’s transport system, including fantastic new infrastructure such as the North West Metro and WestConnex motorway. However, these investments are all CBD centric,” he said.

“If the Government is serious about its 30-minute city vision and reducing commutes, then it must focus on building north-south connections that will help Western Sydney residents move around their own region and incentivise employers to locate in those areas,” said Clr Calvert.

“The NSW Household Travel Survey shows the greatest increase in commute times are from Western Sydney greenfield areas with little public transport access, or those rapidly growing infill areas which have suffered changes to rail timetables as a result of improving express services to the Sydney CBD.

“Areas like Blacktown North have seen tens of thousands of new homes over the last five years yet has no dedicated public transport infrastructure and one single point of access – Richmond Road. It is no wonder that commute times have spiked in this area.

“Booming Rouse Hill saw the opening of the fantastic North-West Metro in 2019. Yet this rail link can only cater to those travelling towards the CBD. It is much harder for residents to access jobs in the nearby cities of Parramatta or Blacktown,” said Clr Calvert.

“Additionally, we are not surprised that commute times have increased in more established areas such as Merrylands. Cuts to the Liverpool via Regents Park Line have coincided with massive population growth in this area. The Regents Park Line, not only provides an important connection in an area of huge population growth, but delivers critical north-south connections between the Bankstown, Western, and Inner West rail lines,” he said.

“If the Government is serious about delivering on the 30-minute city vision, then we urgently need to prioritise investment in north-south connections that aren’t Sydney-CBD focused,” said Clr Calvert.

“The first step should be the acceleration of delivery of stage 2 of the North-South Rail link which, running between Rouse Hill, through North Blacktown and on to St Marys would connect those suffering lengthy commutes with more public transport options including: the North West Metro, Richmond Line, Western Line and, ideally the South West Metro at Leppington.

“This would create a ‘grid’ that links travellers with more destinations, increasing the likelihood they can use public transport to reach their destination. It would also create potential for travellers to reroute when delays occur on the city’s rail system,” he said.

“30-minute cities will not happen if we continue to push commuters to the Sydney CBD and make it difficult for them to reach jobs in their own backyard,” said Clr Calvert.

[ENDS]

Media contacts:

Kate O'Connell or Kelly Gee

02 9671 4333

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Last modified on Tuesday, 17 March 2020 13:30

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