The promise of better light rail access to the Mitchell business hub is now a reality with services commencing on the new $12 million Sandford Street stop.
It’s a case of better late than never for the Mitchell businesses, which suffered disruption during the construction of Stage 1 and always argued that there should be a stop nearby to service the area, besides the one at Well Station Drive.
President of the Mitchell Traders Association Sukhjeet Singh said he was very pleased to see the completion of the Sandford Street Stop in Mitchell.
“Local businesses are excited to see how the new stop will improve and promote access to our thriving business community,” Mr Singh said.
“It’s a difficult time for everyone in our community, but having this new service ready to go will help boost business in Mitchell once we’re ready to open back up.”
The new light rail stop is located on the corner of Flemington Road and Sandford Street, a 15-minute journey to the city and less than 10 minutes to Gungahlin.
Services will depart every five to six minutes during peak times. Journey times between Gungahlin and Civic will still be the same after timetables were adjusted at the start of 2021 in anticipation of it coming online.
Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel said the new stop would also serve the future suburb of Kenny, providing a connection to frequent and convenient public transport as soon as residents start moving in.
“Mitchell is also a growing services hub for people in Gungahlin and Canberra’s inner north, so in addition to the stop at Well Station Drive, this stop will also bring significant benefits for local businesses,” he said.
Mr Steel said local Mitchell businesses had been employed in building key components of the new station, including local steel frame fabricator OzMetalwork.
“It’s a stop for Mitchell built by Mitchell,” he said.
“Mitchell businesses have really warmed to light rail over time and I look forward to hearing from the traders about how being better connected to the City and Gungahlin benefits their businesses in the months and years ahead.
“While we’re still encouraging people to only use public transport for essential reasons, this is something to really look forward to.”
The Sandford Street light rail stop was co-funded by the Commonwealth and ACT Governments.
ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja said the new stop would make Mitchell businesses more accessible to commuters.
“This is a vital piece of infrastructure that the local traders have been calling for over a long period of time and it is fantastic to see this stop in Mitchell operational. This will provide a crucial connection into the growing business hub in Mitchell,” he said.
“This is just one piece of the Commonwealth Government’s massive $1.8 billion infrastructure spend in Canberra over recent years, boosting jobs and supporting our local economy,” Senator Seselja said.
Mr Steel said infrastructure investment had been central to keeping Canberra’s economy strong and growing through a difficult 18 months, and this project had supported more than 200 jobs through the design, construction and testing phase.
He said extending light rail to Canberra’s southside would soon get underway, with early works to relocate utilities and prepare for the raising of London Circuit in 2022.