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