Mitchell traders welcome funding for ‘long overdue’ light rail stop

Ian Bushnell 1 July 2020 9
Light rail stop

A light rail stop at the Mitchell business district will be built over the next year. Photo: File.

The announcement of funding for a new light rail stop at Mitchell has been welcomed by local traders who have long campaigned for the business district to be included on the route.

Mitchell Traders Association president Michael Warnock said the funding, included in a joint Commonwealth-ACT Government $35 million infrastructure package, was fantastic news.

Mr Warnock said the planned Sandford Street stop would reduce parking pressures in Mitchell, boost business and provide greater access to the city.

”For people coming in, it was quite a long walk either from Wells Station Road or from EPIC, which is where most people seem to come from,” he said. ”It will be great to have that access at long last.”

Mr Warnock said the Mitchell stop was well overdue and should have been included in Light Rail Stage 1, but the association’s campaign had paid off.

”We had to be patient, had to wait but they have been true to their word. They did say they would do it before Stage 2A [from the city to Commonwealth Park],” Mr Warnock said.

The $35 million package, in which each government is putting up $17.6 million, is designed to support construction jobs and deliver shovel-ready infrastructure projects and urgent road safety upgrades.

Transport Minister Chris Steel said the new light rail stop on Flemington Road at Sandford Street would provide better access to the Mitchell business district in addition to the existing stop at Well Station Drive.

“Design is being undertaken on a 14th stop on the light rail line and we will work with Canberra Metro to build the station at Sandford Street over the next year,” Mr Steel said.

The package includes $1.6 million from the ACT Government to jointly fund targeted road safety investments across the Territory including upgrades to traffic signals to keep them on during power outages, and the installation of road safety barriers to protect motorists on arterial roads.

Other projects to be funded include intersection upgrades across the ACT Territory-wide, the Northbourne Avenue Pavement Rehabilitation program, and variable speed limit infrastructure on the Tuggeranong Parkway.

The road pavement along Northbourne Avenue northbound from Macarthur Avenue to Mouat Street will be upgraded to improve skid resistance, remove defects and reduce the need for regular maintenance. Cyclists will also enjoy a smoother journey.

The joint package will fund a variable speed limit system for the Tuggeranong Parkway between Cotter road and the Glenloch interchange to allow the ACT Government to vary speeds to manage congestion. It includes variable signs, communication connections, CCTV cameras and speed and volume detectors.

”Permanent variable speed limit signs will be installed on the Parkway following the success of the mobile travel time signs. These have been used for safety messaging as well as giving motorists real time information about the quickest route to the city,” Mr Steel said.

“The Parkway will remain a 100km/h zone, however the new variable speed signs will be installed on the Tuggeranong Parkway to improve safety. The speed limit may be varied in circumstances were accident or roadwork occurs on the Parkway and during peaks, to reduce the speed of cars approaching the tail of the resulting traffic jam, or to improve the volume of traffic flow where it can more safely and efficiently proceed at a lower speed.”

Traffic lights will be installed to improve road safety and pedestrian access at four key intersections in Belconnen and Woden: Belconnen Way/Springvale Drive, Hawker; Southern Cross Drive/Starke Street, Holt; Launceston Street/Irving Street, Phillip; and Kuringa Drive/Owen Dixon Drive, Evatt.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the jointly funded package was about bringing forward a pipeline of transport infrastructure projects across the Territory that would create jobs over the next year of the recovery.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said further investment in infrastructure would play a critical role in the Commonwealth’s JobMaker plan and help the ACT economy as it recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This funding injection means we have brought forward or provided additional funding of $48 million to the ACT in the past eight months.

“This package builds on the fast-tracking of $30 million in Monaro Highway funding which we announced last November, locking in upgrades that will increase productivity, improve safety, and boost jobs at a time we need it most.”

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9 Responses to Mitchell traders welcome funding for ‘long overdue’ light rail stop
Acton Acton 9:02 pm 24 Jun 20

As former Chief Minister Stanhope says – Stop the tram and start caring for the community

Iaian Ross Iaian Ross 7:32 pm 23 Jun 20

As I recall there was meant to be a station outside the depot, but was cut due to fear of a cost overruns. Trams still have to stop there for driver and crew changes. But it's really a small shipping container with a makeshift awning.

Made no sense to cut the station in the first place. The realigned bus routes made it quite difficult to get to Mitchell.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 8:36 am 24 Jun 20

    It wasn't a cost issue, it was a running time issue and that was the easiest stop to drop.

    When it comes to cost the most expensive parts of the stop were built, thats why the tracks spread out at Sandford Street, lights, barriers etc already built and in place.

    Áine Ní Tighearnaigh Áine Ní Tighearnaigh 9:29 am 24 Jun 20

    Not building a station at a business district in the first place is a demonstration of gross stupidity. As stupid as it is to have removed light rail from Burley Griffins original plan for Canberra, as dense as having one train station, and as gormless as having a lake on which people are not allowed to sail and do recreational pursuits.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 7:17 pm 25 Jun 20

    Ãine Ní Tighearnaigh what lake is that? As people are most welcome to sail on Lake Burley Griffen and undertake recreation pursuits. The limitation is you cannot have boat/JetSki with a motor.

    And if you are referring to other lakes in Canberra like Ginninderra, Tuggeranong and the small one in Gungahlin their primary purpose is stormwater control.

Guy Noble Guy Noble 1:31 pm 23 Jun 20

OMG seriously, i live in woden i never get that side of town. Have supported the tram from its inception and cant wait for it to go through to Tuggers. It never had a stop at Mitchell? Thats a disgrace. I hope our gov has arranged for stops on Athlon at Torrens and Wanniassa before it goes through to Tuggers or they have learnt nothing

    Emmac Ph Emmac Ph 2:47 pm 23 Jun 20

    Guy Noble they left it out as it would have made (and indeed will make) the trip time the same as the buses took.

    Guy Noble Guy Noble 2:52 pm 23 Jun 20

    Emmac Ph 1 stop? I dont know if it does but the tram should have no red lights at all on its journey. If this gov is serious about getting traffic off the road the Tram needs to have every possible advantage it can.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 8:40 am 24 Jun 20

    Guy Noble One stop yes. 24 minutes was a magic number which was the timetabled time the buses took off peak. Peak it could be anywhere up to 45 minutes. Make the time 25 minutes and you could imagine the headlines. Though I believe now the system is bedded in they should still be able to add that stop and still keep 24 minute trip time anyway.

    And there is already a stop in Mitchell at Well Station Drive, even when the new stop is built this will still be the best stop for the northern 1/2 of the suburb. And thats part of the reason one stop was so easy to drop, as the line runs down the side of Mitchell only a small part can be serviced anyway.

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