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Corbell to include Russell in light rail application

By Charlotte Harper - 14 October 2015 116

light rail artist impressionThe ACT Government has sent a strong message to the anti-light rail lobby today by announcing it will lodge a development application for the optional extension to Russell together with that for the initial Civic to Gungahlin line within weeks.
A statement from Minister for Capital Metro, Simon Corbell, said the application would cover works required on ACT-managed land along the route should government approve the proposed Russell extension.
ACT managed land along the proposed extension consists of a stretch of London Circuit (excluding Ainslie Place) between Northbourne Avenue and Constitution Avenue, the remainder of the extension will require NCA works approval.
“It is a prudent measure for the government to use the existing work done as part of the analysis of the Russell extension option to prepare a London Circuit DA,” Corbell said.
“It will be lodged in the coming weeks at the same time as the DA for stage one.”
“If the ACT Government does decide to include Russell as part of Capital Metro stage one, this work will ensure construction activity on the City to Russell alignment is not delayed while the required planning approvals are obtained.”
The two shortlisted consortia have submitted separate bids that include the option to extend stage one of the light rail network to Russell.
“When evaluating the bids to select a preferred consortium, the ACT Government will decide whether including the extension to Russell is a strong investment decision,” Corbell said.
“From Russell we would be perfectly placed to extend to other key parts of our city, including the airport, the parliamentary triangle and other destinations south of the lake.
“The proposed extension to Russell has received strong support from the local business industry and ACT community. It is expected to increase patronage of the light rail service by more than 30 percent and would provide a link to the CBD to thousands of employees working within the Constitution Avenue corridor and around the Defence precinct.”

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116 Responses to
Corbell to include Russell in light rail application
Pork Hunt 10:14 pm 14 Oct 15

Am I the only pork hunt who can see that beyond Russell lies the airport? Your council (I live in NSW) simply seeks to give the residents of hideous Gungahlin* an avenue to escape their woes via the CIA.
* Remember Nullarbor Avenue? Definition of Avenue being “tree lined street”.

gooterz 9:07 pm 14 Oct 15

So 25 minutes from Gungahlin to civic, would make it almost an hour to Russel.

“strong investment decision” Why is stage 2 people picked as an investment decision when stage 1 was a clear pork barrel?

Light rail between Manuka and civic makes more sense. Then if people want to go out drinking and make a night of it they can have the selection of Manuka for dinner and civic for drinks after.

Going out for a drink is one of the few actual reasons many will use light rail.

Is city to the lake still a thing?

HiddenDragon 6:01 pm 14 Oct 15

“The ACT Government has sent a strong message to the anti-light rail lobby today by announcing it will lodge a development application for the optional extension to Russell….”

There may have been more information in later updates today, but as of this morning’s news reports, the strong message did not include even an estimate of the (financial) cost of the extension.

tuco 5:43 pm 14 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

Ian said :

I’d love to know how the government envisages getting the tram across the lake and into and through the Parliamentary zone working, and how much it will cost? To me this is the difference between it being an isolated one off novelty or part of something actually useful.

What’s the problem, there are already two solid concrete bridges or sufficient gap between them to lay tracks?

I’m not sure that’s how engineering works. It’s a bit more sciencey …..

rosscoact 2:56 pm 14 Oct 15

Citizen Phil said :

Between the existing carriageway on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge would be the logical place

Between the bridges is thin air unless I’m thinking about different bridges on a different lake. Solid place for this government to start all it’s policies it seems.

If you put a beam between pylons it ceases to become thin air. Simple engineering if the existing columns have the capacity.

dungfungus 2:56 pm 14 Oct 15

rosscoact said :

Ian said :

I’d love to know how the government envisages getting the tram across the lake and into and through the Parliamentary zone working, and how much it will cost? To me this is the difference between it being an isolated one off novelty or part of something actually useful.

Between the existing carriageway on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge would be the logical place

Far to early to speculate – they will cross that bridge when they come to it.
Also, it has been discussed several times before on this blog namely the road carriageway on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge was strengthened during its building to accommodate heavy construction plant that was used to prepare the site of the new Parliament House.
A bit of rare future planning.
The trams will have to share with the buses and any cars left in Canberra.

Citizen Phil 1:25 pm 14 Oct 15

Between the existing carriageway on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge would be the logical place

Between the bridges is thin air unless I’m thinking about different bridges on a different lake. Solid place for this government to start all it’s policies it seems.

miz 1:03 pm 14 Oct 15

While a route to Russell *sounds like* a far more appropriate first stage for a prospective light rail, I note many unsuccessful attempts have been made in the past to get Defence staff to use public transport and light rail will be no different – in fact will probably be less convenient (slower, less direct and involving changing), than the Xpresso buses that already go past it.
All this tells me is that the government is still back pedalling – i.e. trying to build a case after the event because they are cornered politically. Frankly I don’t like their chances: they would have more political cred if they were honest with the people and ‘found a technicality’ that enabled them to get out of the whole palaver. Just think of the public transport we could all benefit from for that money that is basically going down the toilet!

rubaiyat 11:18 am 14 Oct 15

Ian said :

I’d love to know how the government envisages getting the tram across the lake and into and through the Parliamentary zone working, and how much it will cost? To me this is the difference between it being an isolated one off novelty or part of something actually useful.

What’s the problem, there are already two solid concrete bridges or sufficient gap between them to lay tracks?

rosscoact 11:05 am 14 Oct 15

Ian said :

I’d love to know how the government envisages getting the tram across the lake and into and through the Parliamentary zone working, and how much it will cost? To me this is the difference between it being an isolated one off novelty or part of something actually useful.

Between the existing carriageway on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge would be the logical place

Charlotte Harper 11:00 am 14 Oct 15

We’ve put your excellent question to Simon Corbell’s office and will let you know what he comes back with, Ian.

Ian 10:23 am 14 Oct 15

I’d love to know how the government envisages getting the tram across the lake and into and through the Parliamentary zone working, and how much it will cost? To me this is the difference between it being an isolated one off novelty or part of something actually useful.

rubaiyat 10:17 am 14 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

The government initially believed almost everyone in Gungahlin works in the City.
They now are thinking that the others work at Russell.
Both assumptions are totally unfounded but hey, why let facts spoil the fantasy.

All the reports I read actually pointed out the large number of employees that commute to Russell right from the beginning. They had all that from the bus stats.

Your “The government initially believed almost everyone in Gungahlin works in the City”, cost, noise, substations, falling off cambered tracks, inability to cross the bridges etc. statements are not true either.

dungfungus 9:18 am 14 Oct 15

The government initially believed almost everyone in Gungahlin works in the City.
They now are thinking that the others work at Russell.
Both assumptions are totally unfounded but hey, why let facts spoil the fantasy.

rubaiyat 8:44 am 14 Oct 15

Obvious targets are Manuka/Manuka Oval and the higher density apartments of Kingston/ Kingston Foreshore as well as all the tourist attractions and Barton Offices of the Parliamentary triangle.

A more comprehensive scheme is more likely to garner support than just the fairly restricted Gungahlin to City route.

Most Canberrans don’t see themselves riding to Gungahlin, even though there are attractions en route, but circulating from the City around the lake is something they could see themselves doing and it will make Canberra a much more Tourist friendly destination.

Whilst Gungahlin is unlikely to entice outsiders, Epic could become a great venue, for much more than the present rough and ready attractions, accessible by all of North, City and Inner South, if people don’t have to drive and park.

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