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Attention Belconnenites – Bus chaos commences on 25 May

By johnboy 12 May 2009 30

The Chiefly Jon Stanhope is warning you that the complete evisceration of bus services in and around Belconnen will take place in just two weeks time.

    From Monday May 25 the Belconnen Bus Interchange will be permanently closed. Bus services will operate through two temporary bus stations located on Cameron Avenue and Lathlain Street. A new permanent bus station on Cohen Street will also operate from May 25. All bus routes passing through the Belconnen Town Centre will pass through all three bus stations.

    The Belconnen Bus Interchange will eventually be replaced by four bus stations. As a result of the redevelopments most ACTION bus timetables will have changes to times or directions.

    “New ACTION bus timetables commence on Monday May 25 to coincide with the multimillion-dollar Belconnen Town Centre improvements being undertaken by the ACT Government in partnership with Westfield,” Mr Stanhope said. “The bus timetables have been adjusted to accommodate the major changes to the Belconnen Town Centre and the decommissioning of the Belconnen Bus Interchange.

    “The new timetables also include several additional and extended routes to meet increased demand elsewhere in Canberra. A new bus route – Xpresso 980 – will service Fyshwick from Civic during peak periods. Morning and afternoon bus services to Majura Business Park have also been extended to reflect the growing commercial opportunities in this area.

One can hope that someone’s joined up all the dots and it will all run smoothly. But given the confusion in the process to date does anyone have much confidence?

What’s Your opinion?


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Attention Belconnenites – Bus chaos commences on 25 May
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MrMagoo 1:40 pm 14 May 09

GnT said :

What is this obsession with interchanges? The are dirty, dark and attract antisocial behaviour. They’re useless if they are not right where you want to be. A series of stops is far more practical and will get you exactly where you want to go. All you need is a road and a stop – the interchange is a waste of space.

No it isn’t,an interchange by its name implies an area where you move from one bus to another. Come with me Monday week and see how well it goes trying tofind the bus I need when there are people everywhere and noo one actually understanding how it works.

p1 4:43 pm 13 May 09

– The busway that currently exists (though not of use at the moment) between the current interchange and Florey will be gone.

Of all the changes to happen, this strikes me as the most stupid. Why it couldn’t be included into the new plan eludes me. I suspect the ability to “develop” it might have been a factor…

PM 4:16 pm 13 May 09

Just to clarify in response to a couple of the above posts:

– The busway that currently exists (though not of use at the moment) between the current interchange and Florey will be gone.

– Some of that busway space will be taken up by extending Cohen Street from Lathlain down to Benjamin Way.

– No plans have been announced for the rest of that corridor north of the Westfield extension (no doubt slated for development).

– The current bus interchange space will be made to look more like a street and the buses will flow down there.

– There is not going to be an interchange. Nobody is splitting the bus stops between an east and west. All buses to Belco will stop at all four bus stations.

– When talking about light-rail, don’t think of Melbourne’s trams.

JC 4:12 pm 13 May 09

The urban sprawl of the 60 certainly was not tram/light rail friendly for sure, but the arterial roads still followed Griffens design idea and were made with light rail in mind. Indeed as pointed about before Belconnen interchange was designed with it in mind too.

As for interchanges, I for one would rather be in one of them rather than waiting on the street at a bus stop to change buses. As sad as it may be to many changing buses is essential in Canberra except for a suburban to (local) town centre journey. Security of having other people around being one prime consideration.

dvaey 11:12 am 13 May 09

Pandy said :

WBG designed what is now north and south Canberra for “streetcars” and heavy commuter rail in the days before cars became the aspirational freedom machines that are they are today. Modern Canberra from the 60s was designed around the car.

Pandy, you obviously missed the video posted to the light rail thread about exactly how and why the car took over from the streetcar. Very informative and gives a new perspective on how car companies (one in particular) shafted us all with public transport. Infact, it almost seems from watching that video that the ACT government learnt some tricks from them.

Posh 10:55 am 13 May 09

I agree with GnT. I’ve been at the Belconnen Bus Interchange to catch a bus after work. While I was waiting for a bus around 5.15pm I observed the following: one young girl around 15 yrs pacing around yelling into her mobile phone the entire time I was there how she was going to bash this other girl and the language was emphasised with the usual expletives. At the same time this was happening another girl got up from the next bay and came around to my bay and vomited on the concrete where we stand – never attempted to get to the gutter to do this – then turned around and went back to her bay area and sat down.

The other day, two guys were drunk carrying still drinking from their stubbies with the one saying to put the bottle in the back pocket if the bus pulls up before he’s finished. I’ve been asked for money, cigarettes from these types and this all happens within the 10 minutes that I stand there – and how annoying it is when the bus turns up late – thanks ACTION.

GnT 9:40 am 13 May 09

What is this obsession with interchanges? The are dirty, dark and attract antisocial behaviour. They’re useless if they are not right where you want to be. A series of stops is far more practical and will get you exactly where you want to go. All you need is a road and a stop – the interchange is a waste of space.

Pandy 7:40 am 13 May 09

WBG designed what is now north and south Canberra for “streetcars” and heavy commuter rail in the days before cars became the aspirational freedom machines that are they are today. Modern Canberra from the 60s was designed around the car.

I note that no money was given to Light Rail for Canberra in the budget.

JC 7:04 am 13 May 09

MrPC said :

As far as I can see, the plan is to spend the next few years building a new busway through the site of the current bus interchange, but instead of dropping down to Benjamin Way, it will continue above Benjamin Way, into a new interchange at Westfields, where buses heading up the busway to nowhere can go straight ahead down a new ramp, and those terminating or heading on local routes to the west diverge in the current government carpark near the police station and head straight ahead up the hill to the depot from there. It will streamline things immensely.

There is not going to be an interchange at Westfield, it is just gonna be a glorified stop like the rest of them. You will also find there is no ramp down to the current busway for west bound buses, they will continue to do the street running as they will when the interchange closes down.

As I understand it the main stop will be in the location of the current interchange.

MrPC said :

As for Light Rail, blah, I’m not fussed. Canberra will never get trams, it was never designed for them and trams are not that useful anyway. Canberra might one day get trains though, and they can be elevated or in subway, so design isn’t especially relevant to this bus interchange.

Trams have fewer seats than buses of an equivalent length, since design compromises usually require the entire tram to be low floor wheelchair accessible (meaning space is taken away from passengers to allow for the wheels to rise into the compartment) whereas with buses only the section from the front door to the centre door is low floor. Besides, there are only two ways to make trams effective. You can either put in so much engineering work that you may as well have built heavy rail so that the trains rise above or drop below traffic, or alternately, you can put in the sort of traffic light priority measures that you may as well do with buses.

Whilst I do agree that Canberra doesn’t need trams due to our population density and cost, the city was actually designed for them, right from Walter’s first plan. Indeed the same design elements have been continued to this day.

Trams do have a place and are more than glorifed buses, just go to any European city with them in large numbers to see how they and other forms of public transport work together.

TP 3000 11:04 pm 12 May 09

bd84 said :

Anyway once they’ve done belconnen they should start on Woden interchange, the current one should have been demolished years ago much like the one at Belconnen. It’s an eyesore and poorly designed for what is required these days. Plus it would probably reduce crime by 80% in Woden.

Though new interchanges is probably little incentive to catch buses that still don’t go anywhere quickly.

Well I was reading some ACT Government document that showed that Target was due to expand to Westfield Woden in 2009. It will be like 2000sqm. Planning work is due to begin for a new Woden Interchange this year.

Tuggeranong may follow, but for another 7-10 years. Then since City Interchange had the latest refurb, it will most likely be done in the next 10-15 years. It will most likely be replaced with a series of bus stations on London Circuit, Northbourne Ave & current City West Interchange.

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