Light rail business roundtables and traffic survey prepare for disruption

Ian Bushnell 19 November 2021 31
Artist's impression of light rail on London Circuit

Businesses on London Circuit will do it tough during light rail construction. Image: ACT Government.

The ACT Government is preparing the ground for the years of disruptions to come from light rail construction in the city, and later on the way to Woden, arranging meetings with businesses on London Circuit this week and issuing a community survey on commuting impacts.

Enabling works for Stage 2A to Commonwealth Park are underway, and the project to raise London Circuit to create a level intersection with Commonwealth Avenue is expected to start in April 2022.

The ACT Government insists the first track will be laid in 2024.

Businesses in Civic West will face major disruptions to their trading ability, similar as those in Gungahlin – an experience that angered many traders and one the government is keen not to repeat.

The government will start direct business engagement this week, with ACT Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel and the specially created Light Rail Disruption Taskforce hosting two roundtables on Tuesday, 16 November, and Thursday, 18 November.

The government says these sessions will provide an opportunity for businesses in the construction zone to hear about what’s coming up with project works in the months ahead, and provide their feedback on how the government can work with them to manage its impacts.

“Light rail to Woden will be Canberra’s biggest ever infrastructure project,” said Mr Steel. “That means we need a big program of engagement so businesses and local residents can help shape how we deliver it.

“We’re being upfront with city-based businesses and the broader Canberra community that the construction of light rail to Woden will be disruptive so we’re also making sure we communicate early and often about what’s happening before construction starts next year.”


READ ALSO: No issues with the light rail fleet, but the Government will report on contingency plans in case of cracking


Representatives from the light rail project delivery team and the Disruption Taskforce want to hear from businesses about how things such as construction scheduling, sequencing and works delivery may affect their operations.

The sessions will also explore lessons learned from other major infrastructure projects around Australia, and construction of light rail Stage 1, to identify practical initiatives that can support businesses during the delivery of the project.

“We understand the COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for businesses across Canberra,” said Mr Steel. “We want to partner with those in the construction zone to provide the right information and support as we start work on this project that will benefit our city for generations to come.”

The ACT Government is also launching a survey for the broader Canberra community to understand how upcoming disruption to the traffic network may change the way people commute to and from the city.

“During the construction of light rail to Woden, there will be impacts to the road network, public transport routes and active travel connections both in and out of the city,” said Mr Steel. “This will affect commuters in different ways, particularly those on Canberra’s southside.

“This survey will help us better understand how, why and how often people are currently travelling to the city, and how we can minimise impacts during the construction period.”

Mr Steel said Canberrans would be asked to rethink their routes and rethink their routines for commuting during what will be years of construction.

Feedback from the survey will help identify opportunities to support people to make different travel choices.

“By working closely with local businesses and the Canberra community as we build light rail to Woden, we are aiming to minimise the disruption where we can while ensuring everyone shares in the benefits of a more vibrant, connected and sustainable city,” said Mr Steel.

The anonymous and confidential survey can be accessed at Transport Canberra and Light Rail to Woden. It closes on Sunday, 28 November, 2021.


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31 Responses to Light rail business roundtables and traffic survey prepare for disruption
Denise Bourke Denise Bourke 10:30 pm 18 Nov 21

I got the impressions that funds might be an issue. Can we not dig up roads unless the whole enchiladas can be paid for?

Charles Godworth Charles Godworth 6:10 pm 18 Nov 21

Businesses are already sufferring under the labor and greens targeted attacks on them. They dont need more of the same for the next few years. When will enough be enough?

Steve Lemon Steve Lemon 6:55 am 18 Nov 21

Have we checked that the floor isn't going to fall out of them yet? feels like we should check that before we go further?

Martin Ross Martin Ross 7:43 pm 17 Nov 21

It’ll probably be like George St in Sydney was for the City to SE light rail line. Decline in business and foot traffic and all other general traffic will be diverted elsewhere

Prue Anne Prue Anne 6:24 am 17 Nov 21

Why would the ACT Government do this at huge cost and disruption?? As someone who has been catching the bus from Woden to Civic lately, there is already a great bus service that runs every five minutes in peak hour 🤦‍♀️

Gerard Dwyer Gerard Dwyer 1:33 am 17 Nov 21

Who here complained? Are any of you the thousands of people that use it?

Robyn Lawrence Robyn Lawrence 9:53 pm 16 Nov 21

Hasn't April 2021 already come and gone? That's when this article says it is going to start.

    Robyn Lawrence Robyn Lawrence 9:54 pm 16 Nov 21

    To quote: "Enabling works for Stage 2A to Commonwealth Park are underway, and the project to raise London Circuit to create a level intersection with Commonwealth Avenue is expected to start in April 2021."

Darren Sault Darren Sault 7:24 pm 16 Nov 21

….shoulda gone with the trackless trams - one tenth the cost, flexible beyond belief.

    David Newman David Newman 11:03 pm 16 Nov 21

    Darren Sault, trackless trams? Aren’t they buses? 😂

    Colin Vivian Colin Vivian 7:17 am 17 Nov 21

    David Newman only on the same way that trams are just buses without options. 😊

    They are a far better solution for Canberra than 18th century technology.

    https://citymonitor.ai/transport/rail/trackless-trams-may-be-the-best-alternative-to-light-rail

    Linda Woods Linda Woods 4:30 pm 18 Nov 21

    Darren Sault they are reliable or viable yet. Theyre being tested

Adrian Gab Adrian Gab 7:13 pm 16 Nov 21

Cancel light rail. It's not too late.

Brian Kilgannon Brian Kilgannon 6:39 pm 16 Nov 21

If only Canberra was really a city and really needed it but Canberra is a pretend city. Run by idiots.

Brian Kilgannon Brian Kilgannon 6:38 pm 16 Nov 21

Huge waste of money.

Robert Azzopardi Robert Azzopardi 6:27 pm 16 Nov 21

I’m just here to read the comments .. this will be good .. probably from the same Whingers that drive their cars to climate change protests 😂😂

Vander Leal Vander Leal 5:16 pm 16 Nov 21

"We want to hear you, but... just a minute.... YEAH...YOU CAN TALK NOW..."

Harry Vallianos Harry Vallianos 5:07 pm 16 Nov 21

I would like to know where they will get the fill(soil) to raise London Cirt . It is a massive amount 🤔

    Robert Azzopardi Robert Azzopardi 6:26 pm 16 Nov 21

    Harry Vallianos hahaha .. hue do you think they built the Hume Hwy ??

Maria Greene Maria Greene 3:07 pm 16 Nov 21

And it will cost HEAPS in money, more in frustration., But it keeps Labor in power. That's the most important thing. Thanks for nothing idiot Greens

    Linda Stapleton Linda Stapleton 4:11 pm 16 Nov 21

    Maria Greene the Liberal Federal government supports the light rail...sorry but attacking Labor and Greens is not going to cut it. https://roadsonline.com.au/second-stage-of-acts-light-rail-project-gets-132-5m-federal-funding/

    Mark Newman Mark Newman 4:45 pm 16 Nov 21

    Linda Stapleton bahahahahaha 132 million barely covers the planning costs.

Geoff Dibley Geoff Dibley 2:36 pm 16 Nov 21

So we will spend 260 million to extend this 2km to a location no one will go to by light rail (other than maybe skyfire type events). And it will take us 3 years to start laying track..... so extending to Woden by that measure will take another 15 years ..... woden in 2039 !! What a joke.

Mark Newman Mark Newman 2:18 pm 16 Nov 21

Bit late for feedback when the big red redundant eyesore has already been finalised. Just a tick box exercise for ACT’s pathetic labor/greens government.

    Nada Krstin Nada Krstin 8:17 pm 16 Nov 21

    Mark Newman yep, what I can see so little support for this extended light rail & the cost that will continue to burden CBR tax payers for many years to come...

    those that don't currently use the available public transport (buses) will not use the light rail either, for their same reasons - because public transport does not suit them, for a myriad of reasons...incl tradies, mum/dad that need to do before/after school drop offs/pick ups and then to the children's sport/other training events, work office is not a location of the bus/rail system route etc...

    So I dare say the number of cars on the road will continue to be the same, regardless of the extra light rail...

    Stephen Matthews Stephen Matthews 7:18 am 17 Nov 21

    Mark Newman Going to be good,Canberra finally realising its a city

    Stephen Matthews Stephen Matthews 7:20 am 17 Nov 21

    Action has enough trouble attracting bus drivers now,Trams carry more people and you dont need as many drivers

Marc Edwards Marc Edwards 2:03 pm 16 Nov 21

Pity they didn’t do that to the businesses in Gungahlin that got killed off by the government’s lack of care for them during years of LR works. The town center was a ghost town for two years

    Linda Stapleton Linda Stapleton 3:38 pm 16 Nov 21

    Marc Edwards there was one place in that area, that pretended to be affected by the light rail construction, but in reality it had all but closed before the construction started... it was never freaking open...you cant make money if your doors are closed ...they made a big fuss and got a pay out for the damage the light rail did to their business... rip off much... This one business and the way they lied made me dubious about the many claims made by businesses along the construction after that. Once one does it ..... I will just add here that the business that moved into the premises they vacated didnt seem to be effected at all..go figure...

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