10 June 2020

Plans lodged for new, bigger bus layover in Turner

| Ian Bushnell
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The new City West Bus Layover facility

The new City West Bus Layover facility in Turner support changes required to the City Bus Station as part of a realignment of platforms and routes integrating with light rail. Photo: File.

Plans have been lodged for the new City West Bus Layover in Turner that will replace the current facility near the Australian National University.

Identified in a 2013 study commissioned by the ACT Government, the new 9000 square metre site is on the corner of Watson Street and Barry Drive (zoned PRZI Urban Open Space Zone), and consists of Sullivans Creek open space and a Territory-operated surface car park of about 60 spaces.

The new City West Bus Layover will provide parking spaces for 25 buses and driver break facilities. With Sullivans Creek nearby, it will also require underground flood mitigation for about 2000 cubic metres of water.

The new layover will also support changes required to the City Bus Station as part of a realignment of platforms and routes integrating with light rail, while minimising the number of buses that are required to sit within the City Bus Station precinct.

Site plan

The site plan for the new bus layover in Turner. Image: Cardno.

The government budgeted $5 million for its design and construction and this proposal will cost $3.5 million.

The proposal includes a 54 square metre administration building with kitchen and lounge facilities for drivers needing rest and refreshment between shifts. It will have five private car parks.

Traffic changes are also proposed including modifications to the Barry Drive and Watson Street intersection and an extra phase in the traffic signals.

There will also be adjustments to the alignment of the southern approach of the intersection which will allow for buses to enter and depart from Kingsley Street, while access from the western approach of Barry Drive will be through the existing driveway along Watson Street.

Only about 6000 square metres of the site will be usable but this is still twice the amount of space of the current site on the corner of University Avenue and Marcus Clark Street which is considered too small and is slated for sale.

The new facility will need to be big enough to cater for the big Scania Steer Tag bus and comply with requirements for intersections and clearances to pedestrian infrastructure such as pram crossings, pram ramps and paths.

The traffic report says that the layover will generate 105 bus trips between 7:30 am and 9:30 am, and 104 in the evening from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, out of a total of 680 for the day.

The DA proposes the layover be landscaped with low maintenance plantings and dryland grassing, with new deciduous trees planted to the entry from Barry Drive and outside the driver facilities building, and a mixture of exotic and native trees around the perimeter of the site.

Flood mitigation options include an extra culvert with floodgates and an underground stormwater storage system.

Transport Canberra expects the project to be completed by early next year.

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How much did this layover actually cost the rate payers?

How much did this work actually cost the ratepayer?

I don’t really know why residents would be super-opposed to this… that spot has been a dusty and ugly car-park for years.

But if residents are unhappy with the future risk this poses (maybe the beginning of development all along the west side of Watson St up to Haig Park – something I can easily see this gub’mint doing), then maybe don’t give Barr 23.3% of the vote like you did in 2016 at the Turner polling place…


Yep completely agree A_Cog. Like the manufactured furore around the Dickson Section 72 ‘parklands’, which in reality is building on an old club site that has been vacant for not far off 2 decades now, this is a dusty old, crappy car park in its current form. Its also not close at all to any significant accomodation, bar the ANU accommodating on the other side of the street. Its a nothing site with little value at the moment.

Its a different story if we start to see development all the way along that side of Watson St. But at the bottom end I’d expect there is probably reasonable limitations on what can be built there anyway because of Sullivan’s Creek.

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