Bus travellers at the new Woden Interchange will have to wait until the CIT building is complete before having any public toilets to use, the ACT Government has confirmed.
The Government has been criticised for not including public toilets in the Interchange design but Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel told the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday in a project update that these facilities, accessible from the Interchange, will be included in the the construction of the new CIT Campus.
The Interchange on Callam Street is due to be completed next year but the CIT won’t open until 2025.
Bus users will also have to wait until then for the kind of shelter they might expect, something that the planning authority queried in its approval of the Interchange development application.
Mr Steel has always said the Interchange and CIT is an integrated project and he told the Assembly that the new campus would have a publicly accessible ground floor that will provide adequate shelter from the elements for bus users and a covered throughway to Westfield, supported by better wayfinding and signage.
“As work progresses on the design of the CIT project, further consideration will be given as to how the CIT design can complement the bus stops in the Interchange and provide for sheltered waiting areas,” he said.
Mr Steel also confirmed that the proposed new low-speed, shared zone connection between Bowes and Bradley Streets will go ahead so access can be maintained to the Town Centre for destination and local traffic, as well as people using public transport and active travel.
Callam Street is due to close this month in preparation for the Interchange construction to begin later in the year, and traffic diverted around the Town Centre.
He said traffic calming devices would limit vehicle speeds at 10 km/h while providing safe and direct access for drop-off and pick-up.
“Major Projects Canberra staff are out in the community right now speaking with residents, commuters and workers about how they might use this shared zone and what inclusions they would most like to see in its design,” Mr Steel said.
He said the Government has also responded to community calls for greater bike and ride facilities including bike storage.
“This supports the Government’s commitment to see our active travel network and public transport system working together to move people around more sustainably through genuine integration of our transport system,” Mr Steel said .
The Government will also increase tree canopy coverage across the footprint of the integrated project and is promising landscaping that will provide green and relaxing spaces and an activated green pedestrian spine through the centre of the campus.
“This area will be designed and landscaped to create areas with a unique identity, providing outdoor teaching and learning spaces for CIT while also containing key landscaping themes that ensure cohesion to Woden Town Square and Arabanoo Park,” Mr Steel said.
He said the Government was aware of Woden’s reputation as a concrete jungle and wanted a warm, thoughtful and innovative campus design.
Community consultation on the campus design will be ongoing over the next 12 months during which a delivery partner will be chosen.
Mr Steel said Major Projects Canberra will set up a stall in Woden Town Square where people can keep up to date on all the major projects taking place in and around Woden, including the Canberra Hospital Expansion and light rail stage 2.