The expanded bus interchange in the city is in urgent need of upgrades including shelters, a pedestrian-only zone and reduced speed limits, according to the ACT Greens.
Greens Transport spokesperson Caroline Le Couteur says the extension of the interchange into Alinga Street as part of the new bus network has left that area increasingly congested, with commuters exposed to the elements.
“For passengers and pedestrians, this now means standing out in the cold in near-freezing temperatures, without shelter from the wind or rain,” she said.
“If we’re committed to ensuring that more people take up active and public transport, then the Government needs to take further steps to ensure that all public transport passengers enjoy a comfortable experience. What’s available at Alinga Street is a wholly different experience to what’s now available at the nearby light rail stop.”
Ms Le Couteur says the area needs shelter from wind and rain in bus stop waiting areas and measures to safeguard pedestrians, including a new pedestrian crossing along West Row.
She says 40km/hr speed limits in the area between London Circuit and Barry Drive could also reduce the potential for accidents.
Ms Le Couteur says the area from Alinga Street between Moore Street and Northbourne Avenue could be a no-car zone, open only to pedestrians and cyclists.
“We can’t have cars and buses and lots of people all using the same space,” she said.
The area also needs infrastructure for cyclists and more space for bicycles, including sheltered parking racks.
Ms Le Couteur says seniors and people with a disability are struggling with the area and there needs to be work done to make it more accessible.
With such a large interchange people are also getting lost and confused when changing buses or moving from light rail to buses, and more signs are needed to guide them, she says.
“Fixing up this part of the interchange can be easily and cheaply done, ” Ms Le Couteur said.