Monday, 18 July 2016 11:08

Only 3% increase in rail access by 2036

Train pulling into Westmead train station. Train pulling into Westmead train station. Source: iStock

Web editor's note: This article was updated on September 28, 2016 to align with an amended report that takes into account the new LGA boundaries following council amalgamations. The new area for analysis includes the former Canterbury City Council which is now included as part of the City of Canterbury-Bankstown LGA.

Media release, 18 July, 2016


A report commissioned by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has revealed that the region can only expect a two three per cent increase in rail access over the next 20 years.

WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said Western Sydney’s rail deficit is well known, however this is the first time we have compared present and future accessibility.

“Just 20 23 per cent of Greater Western Sydney residents currently live within a walkable distance (800m) of a rail station[1],” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Based on current development forecasts and the government’s infrastructure pipeline, accessibility is only expected to increase to 22 26 per cent by the year 2036,” he said.

“This is not due to a lack of investment. There has been an unprecedented commitment towards Western Sydney infrastructure projects from our state and federal governments over the past five years.

“This is a reflection of the region’s rapid growth, where this growth is happening, and in what densities,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“A great proportion of new housing stock is being built on the fringe of our city where there is little to no rail services available.

“For example, over the next 20 years, Liverpool is expected to experience a proportional decrease in the number of residents living within walking distance of rail.

“This is because much of Liverpool’s development is happening on the outskirts of the LGA where there is very little rail accessibility, rather than in the CBD near established rail links,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“However Liverpool is just one example. Half a million new residents are expected to settle in the north-south growth corridor between Blacktown and the Blue Mountains over the next two decades. A corridor that has some of the lowest levels of public transport access in Sydney,” he said.

“By 2036 there could be as many as 600,000 additional residents on our city’s roads. Driving to over-crowded commuter car parks or directly to work.

“Unless we start building railway stations in the West and focus on increased levels of density around major transport nodes there will be little respite from the debilitating effects of traffic congestion on the economy, our people and our communities,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“If we are unable to fund major transport links for these areas then we need to reconsider where growth is happening and in what densities,” he said.

“We need to do better. We need to plan better, or our city will come to a standstill,” said Cllr Hadchiti.



Media contact: Kelly-Anne Gee, 02 9671 4333 (ext. 118), 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


Full report:

Western Sydney Jobs Deficit and Rail Access Report (Link to amended report published September, 2016)

[1] 800m is the distance considered ‘walkable’ by the NSW Department of Transport. It is acknowledged that the distance considered walkable varies from person to person based on age and ability.



Last modified on Wednesday, 28 September 2016 10:19

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