A route through Barton that takes a swing through Parliamentary Triangle employment hubs is now the favoured option for Stage 2 of the light rail network to Woden Town Centre.
Options for Stage 2 of the light rail network to Woden has been whittled down from four to a direct route through Parkes, and the more circuitous Barton one, which would be the first with a section that doesn’t follow a current road.
The City-Parkes-Woden route (Option 1) is largely the same as the route published for consultation earlier in the year, following Commonwealth Avenue and Capital Circle around Parliament House to Adelaide Avenue.
Minister for Transport and City Services Meegan Fitzharris said there was a clear message from consultations that the network needed to incorporate as many of the key employment hubs and national institutions as possible in the Parliamentary Triangle, with around 75 per cent of respondents supporting a route that travels through Barton.
The Barton route diverts from Commonwealth Avenue at King George Terrace, then on to Kings Avenue where it heads towards Parliament House before branching off-road along Windsor Walk though Barton, past Sydney and Canberra Avenues and on to Capital Circle and Adelaide Avenue.
Ms Fitzharris said Option 2 had been amended slightly following technical analysis, to enable more Canberrans to get to work in the Parliamentary Triangle and improve access for visitors.
She said that not following a current road allowed the route to get through Barton more quickly while also servicing more employment hubs and important national institutions and tourist attractions.
Both routes follow London Circuit through Civic West past the Australian National University.
The Minister told ABC radio that the Barton route was now a slight favourite after the strong community backing for the longer option.
She also ruled out a Canberra Hospital stop, with the Government focused on investing in Woden Town Centre.
Indicative light rail stops for both routes have also been slightly amended.
Ms Fitzharris said that by 2041, more than 210,000 people were expected to live, work or study within one kilometre of the Woden corridor.
The refining of options comes after community feedback, stakeholder engagement, and expert technical analysis.
“It’s great that we have been able to combine feedback from the community and stakeholders with our expert technical analysis to determine the most beneficial options for stage two of the city-wide light rail network,” Ms Fitzharris said.
She said the Government would select the preferred route in 2018, followed by further consultation on where the stops will be located.
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