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Light rail consultation backs Parkes, Barton route for Woden stage

By Ian Bushnell - 23 August 2017 30

Light rail

The next stage of light rail should take in City West and pass through Parkes and Barton on its way to Woden, according to the results of the community consultation process conducted between 1 May and 11 June.

The consultation report said that there was strong support for this route so that Light Rail Stage 2 could capitalise on education and employment hubs, and proximity to cultural institutions and events by Lake Burley Griffin.

Minister for Transport and City Services, Meegan Fitzharris said that the Your Say online survey drew 4,772 responses on preferred route options, alignment and stops.

“The report indicates that 75 per cent of respondents support a route that travels through Parkes and Barton,” she said.

Many respondents thought there should be additional stops in Barton to service employment hubs and provide better access to Manuka Oval and shopping precincts.

Ms Fitzharris said respondents also believed this route would serve a large number of commuters and allow for future stages to continue on to Fyshwick and Queanbeyan.

The report said there was support for light rail to continue to the Canberra Hospital but doubts were raised about how convenient it would be to the hospital entrance and the implications for the future southern extensions of the network.

“Further investigation of the possible route to the Canberra Hospital has identified potential technical constraints to the future southern expansion of the network and potential operational and hospital access issues,” it said.

It said a range of additional alternative routes were suggested including traveling along Melbourne Avenue or King Edward Terrace, through Deakin, and extending to Mawson.

The consultation found alignment selection should be based on the location of the stop, route and likely access for pedestrians, with safety paramount.

Respondents also believed additional pedestrian infrastructure was important in the event of median alignment along busy roads such as Adelaide Avenue.

The report said there was concern about how visual amenity and heritage sites along the proposed route would be managed.

Commuters also want to know more about how light rail will integrate with other transport modes and contribute to other key urban renewal projects, and want further consultation on these issues.

Ms Fitzharris said that there would be more opportunities for Canberrans to have their say on broader issues identified along the southern corridor while the Government developed the Stage 2 business case later in the year or early 2018.

The consultation reached 4,772 people via Your Say ACT, sent emails to over 150 organisations and schools, visited businesses and shopping centres throughout Canberra and distributed over 2,990 brochures and newsletters. It delivered eight presentations to 199 people, received 1,796 items of written feedback, spoke to 587 individuals and reached a social media audience of almost 40,000.

To view the Light Rail Update, including the consultation summary report, visit https://www.yoursay.act.gov.au/LRS2

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30 Responses to
Light rail consultation backs Parkes, Barton route for Woden stage
ChrisinTurner 4:32 pm 24 Aug 17

A major problem with the light rail to Woden will be the doubling of journey time compared with the current buses (12 minutes) using their own dedicated lane (calculated using the average operating speed claimed for Stage 1). Diverting the route through Forrest, Barton and Parkes will likely make it three times as long. With only half the percentage of seats of buses, many passengers will be strap-hanging unless elderly or disabled. The secret “technical constraints” obviously make a mockery of the government’s claims of transparency and consultation.

chewy14 3:43 pm 24 Aug 17

KentFitch said :

chewy14 said :

Of course the underlying premise is urban infill, it’s been the stated policy strategy for many years and the government keeps getting elected so the public in general must be extremely happy with it right?

It certainly isn’t better transport, but it may not be urban infill either, given the recent budget’s $30,000-per-unit development tax. Or was that tax motivated by a desire to restrict infill seen as competing with those of the big-boys – the developers benefiting from the great Northbourne selloff?

The tram was a smokescreen to distract from the real privatisation agenda: moving low-income residents way out of sight, selling-off public land along Northbourne for a one-off budget boost, and and helping property developers construct high-rise.

The stage 2 route is trickier – with few privatisation windfalls, there is less incentive to prosecute an argument that slower and less flexible transport will revitalise Woden. The politicians in the ACT Government may have temporarily swallowed their own rhetoric on the tram, but with the electric and autonomous transport revolution dooming fixed-route and high cost transport, it is dawning on their bean-counters that the tram project will have to be cancelled after either Stage 1 or Stage 2, but sunk costs and pride play havoc with even the most rational decision-makers.

There’s less privatisation available along stage 2 (which is why there’s even less chance of it being financially viable than stage 1), but the urban infill reasoning is the one they’re sticking with so it is what it is. There’s still enough scope available for significant development.

Just like stage 1, they will look to actually create a transport problem and then “fix” it with a light rail “solution”.

chewy14 3:29 pm 24 Aug 17

dungfungus said :

chewy14 said :

dungfungus said :

chewy14 said :

Just shows why you shouldn’t really ask the public about a transport planning project.

Any value that the light rail as a mass transport project is gone if they go through Parkes And Barton instead of continuing the main spine along Adelaide Avenue.

Parkes/Barton should be serviced by a spur line or buses. The light rail is already going to be significantly slower than current Woden/Civic express buses, this route would make it far less valuable to commuters overall.

The light rail has nothing to do with public transport – it’s only about “urban regeneration” – this is the official policy position of TCCS..

Public transport through ACTION busses already services the “preferred” route in the same way as they do currently on the Gungahlin to City bus routes. Nothing will “improve” on the existing express bus service from Woden to City.

There is no need for either improved public transport or urban regeneration anywhere in Canberra . The never was and there never will be.

If our planners and leaders are serious about keeping thousands of cars off the road they should solely focus on developing rail access from Bungendore and Queanbeyan where the infrastructure and corridor already exists. Instead, they will probably convert that to a bicycle path when they close the railway station at KIngston.

Of course the underlying premise is urban infill, it’s been the stated policy strategy for many years and the government keeps getting elected so the public in general must be extremely happy with it right?

There’s no “need” to do anything, but given their stated policy on urban infill, it is a good thing to look at better transport because the policy will actively make transport harder and longer over time.

Your argument that we don’t need to do anything because you like Canberra the way it is simply ignores the fact that clearly the majority of Canberra disagrees with you because they don’t support political parties who are proposing leaving Canberra the way it is.

Well, that majority is mainly the 300,000 Canberrans who drive motor vehicles so until they all start agreeing with you I think they are happy with the way things are.

Agree with me about what? I’m against the light rail project.

But you cannot deny the fact that urban infill has been the government’s strategy for years and they have won multiple elections since.

If the majority think things are great as they are, why do they keep voting for the opposite?

KentFitch 1:12 pm 24 Aug 17

chewy14 said :

Of course the underlying premise is urban infill, it’s been the stated policy strategy for many years and the government keeps getting elected so the public in general must be extremely happy with it right?

It certainly isn’t better transport, but it may not be urban infill either, given the recent budget’s $30,000-per-unit development tax. Or was that tax motivated by a desire to restrict infill seen as competing with those of the big-boys – the developers benefiting from the great Northbourne selloff?

The tram was a smokescreen to distract from the real privatisation agenda: moving low-income residents way out of sight, selling-off public land along Northbourne for a one-off budget boost, and and helping property developers construct high-rise.

The stage 2 route is trickier – with few privatisation windfalls, there is less incentive to prosecute an argument that slower and less flexible transport will revitalise Woden. The politicians in the ACT Government may have temporarily swallowed their own rhetoric on the tram, but with the electric and autonomous transport revolution dooming fixed-route and high cost transport, it is dawning on their bean-counters that the tram project will have to be cancelled after either Stage 1 or Stage 2, but sunk costs and pride play havoc with even the most rational decision-makers.

KentFitch 12:47 pm 24 Aug 17

dungfungus said :

..

Moving through the pages I come to page 6 and an article about the light rail project titled “Tests on track to prevent stray tram zaps” (a scary and costly problem) and the cost of the project is stated to be $939 million.

The cost of the contract discounted at a rate 7.52% pa on future payments was estimated at $939m in the summary released by the Government [ https://www.tccs.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/887686/Light-rail-Capital-Metro-Project-Contract-Summary.pdf ] But of course, future payments will be made from future revenue and so a fair estimate in current dollars is to deflate by the expected rate of inflation (probably at the lower end of the RBA’s target 2-3% pa). Also, that discounted figure is the contract cost, not the project cost, which requires major expenditure on the Dickson interchange (land purchase, road works), the park n’ drives, numerous associated works, project initiation (all that work performed pre contract signing) and ongoing contract management. In current dollars, the Stage 1 project cost is most likely around $1.4billion.

dungfungus 11:57 am 24 Aug 17

chewy14 said :

dungfungus said :

chewy14 said :

Just shows why you shouldn’t really ask the public about a transport planning project.

Any value that the light rail as a mass transport project is gone if they go through Parkes And Barton instead of continuing the main spine along Adelaide Avenue.

Parkes/Barton should be serviced by a spur line or buses. The light rail is already going to be significantly slower than current Woden/Civic express buses, this route would make it far less valuable to commuters overall.

The light rail has nothing to do with public transport – it’s only about “urban regeneration” – this is the official policy position of TCCS..

Public transport through ACTION busses already services the “preferred” route in the same way as they do currently on the Gungahlin to City bus routes. Nothing will “improve” on the existing express bus service from Woden to City.

There is no need for either improved public transport or urban regeneration anywhere in Canberra . The never was and there never will be.

If our planners and leaders are serious about keeping thousands of cars off the road they should solely focus on developing rail access from Bungendore and Queanbeyan where the infrastructure and corridor already exists. Instead, they will probably convert that to a bicycle path when they close the railway station at KIngston.

Of course the underlying premise is urban infill, it’s been the stated policy strategy for many years and the government keeps getting elected so the public in general must be extremely happy with it right?

There’s no “need” to do anything, but given their stated policy on urban infill, it is a good thing to look at better transport because the policy will actively make transport harder and longer over time.

Your argument that we don’t need to do anything because you like Canberra the way it is simply ignores the fact that clearly the majority of Canberra disagrees with you because they don’t support political parties who are proposing leaving Canberra the way it is.

Well, that majority is mainly the 300,000 Canberrans who drive motor vehicles so until they all start agreeing with you I think they are happy with the way things are.

chewy14 11:14 am 24 Aug 17

dungfungus said :

chewy14 said :

Just shows why you shouldn’t really ask the public about a transport planning project.

Any value that the light rail as a mass transport project is gone if they go through Parkes And Barton instead of continuing the main spine along Adelaide Avenue.

Parkes/Barton should be serviced by a spur line or buses. The light rail is already going to be significantly slower than current Woden/Civic express buses, this route would make it far less valuable to commuters overall.

The light rail has nothing to do with public transport – it’s only about “urban regeneration” – this is the official policy position of TCCS..

Public transport through ACTION busses already services the “preferred” route in the same way as they do currently on the Gungahlin to City bus routes. Nothing will “improve” on the existing express bus service from Woden to City.

There is no need for either improved public transport or urban regeneration anywhere in Canberra . The never was and there never will be.

If our planners and leaders are serious about keeping thousands of cars off the road they should solely focus on developing rail access from Bungendore and Queanbeyan where the infrastructure and corridor already exists. Instead, they will probably convert that to a bicycle path when they close the railway station at KIngston.

Of course the underlying premise is urban infill, it’s been the stated policy strategy for many years and the government keeps getting elected so the public in general must be extremely happy with it right?

There’s no “need” to do anything, but given their stated policy on urban infill, it is a good thing to look at better transport because the policy will actively make transport harder and longer over time.

Your argument that we don’t need to do anything because you like Canberra the way it is simply ignores the fact that clearly the majority of Canberra disagrees with you because they don’t support political parties who are proposing leaving Canberra the way it is.

dungfungus 10:00 am 24 Aug 17

Last night’s Utopia on ABC TV satirised the costing of a rail project that could have been built for $2 billion but ended up with a budget of $7 billion.

I picked up the Canberra Times this morning and note that the first page article “Capital Warning” (about the parlous state of the Territory’s economy) quotes the cost of the current light rail project at $707 million.

Moving through the pages I come to page 6 and an article about the light rail project titled “Tests on track to prevent stray tram zaps” (a scary and costly problem) and the cost of the project is stated to be $939 million.

Let’s see, that already $232 million over budget and there is a long way to go yet.

Lord Fenwick 9:18 am 24 Aug 17

wildturkeycanoe said :

Lord Fenwick said :

The popularity of trams in Melbourne demonstrates that getting from A to B faster is not the most important aspect to many people.

Criticisms about the route being slower than some other transport modes take a very narrow view.

Firstly, Melbournites will find trams superior to motor vehicle in terms of speed, unlike Canberra’s future Metro system, so of course they won’t complain. They have much worse commuting times via car and longer distances to cover, so trams will be preferable.
As for slow service being a narrow view, consider this. The reason for light rail is to ease dependance on the motor vehicle. If the tram is slower, how does it pry “time poor” people from their steering wheels? The ones living in Barton will take the tram because they are probably the ones flooding the survey with a “yes” vote, but they could also ride or walk to work as quickly. But Woden residents won’t see any benefit from this when rapid buses are faster and more frequent. However, just as with Gungahlin, no doubt the buses on that route will be de-commissioned, so there will be no choice except to go back to driving if they want to get to work on time.
If you are trying to say commute times are not important to Canberrans, take a look at the impatient, multi-tasking, desperate drivers on Tuggeranong Parkway and Adelaide Avenue every morning and tell me they are happy to take things slowly.

Maybe you haven’t lived in Melbourne like I did for 25 years. The trams have never been faster than driving. They used to stop at every light whether it was red or green, and they often shared the road with cars (think Swan St, Toorak Rd, Chapel St, Malvern Rd, etc). And they are happily watching the impatient, multi-tasking, desperate drivers through the window.

wildturkeycanoe 5:33 am 24 Aug 17

Lord Fenwick said :

The popularity of trams in Melbourne demonstrates that getting from A to B faster is not the most important aspect to many people.

Criticisms about the route being slower than some other transport modes take a very narrow view.

Firstly, Melbournites will find trams superior to motor vehicle in terms of speed, unlike Canberra’s future Metro system, so of course they won’t complain. They have much worse commuting times via car and longer distances to cover, so trams will be preferable.
As for slow service being a narrow view, consider this. The reason for light rail is to ease dependance on the motor vehicle. If the tram is slower, how does it pry “time poor” people from their steering wheels? The ones living in Barton will take the tram because they are probably the ones flooding the survey with a “yes” vote, but they could also ride or walk to work as quickly. But Woden residents won’t see any benefit from this when rapid buses are faster and more frequent. However, just as with Gungahlin, no doubt the buses on that route will be de-commissioned, so there will be no choice except to go back to driving if they want to get to work on time.
If you are trying to say commute times are not important to Canberrans, take a look at the impatient, multi-tasking, desperate drivers on Tuggeranong Parkway and Adelaide Avenue every morning and tell me they are happy to take things slowly.

Lord Fenwick 9:31 pm 23 Aug 17

The popularity of trams in Melbourne demonstrates that getting from A to B faster is not the most important aspect to many people. Not having the stress of driving, lower cost, being able to read or just enjoy scenery and think are more important.

Criticisms about the route being slower than some other transport modes take a very narrow view.

bringontheevidence 8:19 pm 23 Aug 17

Such a silly survey. I’m sure the results would have been completely reversed if the questions had actually included reference to the time (and financial) cost of the longer route.

The longer route would add at least 5-10 minutes to the trip to Woden, effectively ruling it out as a ‘trunk’ route for future Weston and Tuggeranong lines.

dungfungus 6:21 pm 23 Aug 17

chewy14 said :

Just shows why you shouldn’t really ask the public about a transport planning project.

Any value that the light rail as a mass transport project is gone if they go through Parkes And Barton instead of continuing the main spine along Adelaide Avenue.

Parkes/Barton should be serviced by a spur line or buses. The light rail is already going to be significantly slower than current Woden/Civic express buses, this route would make it far less valuable to commuters overall.

The light rail has nothing to do with public transport – it’s only about “urban regeneration” – this is the official policy position of TCCS..

Public transport through ACTION busses already services the “preferred” route in the same way as they do currently on the Gungahlin to City bus routes. Nothing will “improve” on the existing express bus service from Woden to City.

There is no need for either improved public transport or urban regeneration anywhere in Canberra . The never was and there never will be.

If our planners and leaders are serious about keeping thousands of cars off the road they should solely focus on developing rail access from Bungendore and Queanbeyan where the infrastructure and corridor already exists. Instead, they will probably convert that to a bicycle path when they close the railway station at KIngston.

wildturkeycanoe 6:18 pm 23 Aug 17

I’m sure the residents of Woden and hopefully eventually Tuggeranong will rue this decision, which will increase the travel time to/from Civic. It is supposed to be a mass transit solution, but every station plus the pitiful top speed make it akin to the Canberra-Sydney XPT which is put to shame by buses. What is the purpose if not to get people from A to B faster than other modes?

chewy14 4:06 pm 23 Aug 17

Just shows why you shouldn’t really ask the public about a transport planning project.

Any value that the light rail as a mass transport project is gone if they go through Parkes And Barton instead of continuing the main spine along Adelaide Avenue.

Parkes/Barton should be serviced by a spur line or buses. The light rail is already going to be significantly slower than current Woden/Civic express buses, this route would make it far less valuable to commuters overall.

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