30 September 2020

Residents fail to stop new City West Bus Layover going ahead

| Ian Bushnell
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Transport Canberra bus

The new layover will cater for 25 buses for both short and long duration layovers. Photo: File.

Work has started this week on the new City West Bus Layover in Turner with the decommissioning of the dirt car park on the corner of Watson Street and Barry Drive.

The planning authority approved the development application on 6 August despite concerns from nearby residents about a lack of community consultation, loss of parkland and pollution.

Transport Canberra and City Services said local businesses and residents were advised by letterbox drop on 23 September that the project was about to begin.

It said construction would take about six months.

No additional conditions were imposed and the bus layover would be constructed as per the final design plan, TCCS said.

”Noise monitoring and modelling was undertaken as part of the design process, and it determined that the bus layover is expected to operate within the City Centre noise limits. This modelling will be repeated upon the commencement of operations of the layover to ensure noise is within the allowable limits,” a TCCS spokesperson said.

The new layover will provide parking for 25 buses for both short and long duration layovers, a full meal room and toilet facilities for drivers.

It will be twice the size of the current facility on the corner of University Avenue and Marcus Clark Street and its northern section will eat into the Turner Parklands.

The new facility will support changes to the City Bus Station as part of a realignment of platforms and routes integrating with light rail while minimising the number of buses sitting within the City Bus Station precinct.

READ ALSO Turner residents sound alarm over bus layover plans

The proposal sparked a Legislative Assembly petition from local residents fearing that the ”city is coming for their neighbourhood”.

Turner resident Sarah Edson launched the petition, sponsored by Liberal transport spokesperson Candice Burch, as Ms Edson was alarmed at the potential loss of green space, and the possible impacts of traffic management, noise and pollution on the area, particularly with child care and seniors centres nearby.

Site plan

The site plan for the new layover. Image: Cardno.

The notice of decision said that the additional movement of vehicles, particularly buses, would have a limited impact on local traffic movements, and the bus entry/exit is located on Barry Drive which will limit the impact to adjacent residential areas.

It said that the removal of some trees would be offset by new plantings and there was no formal playground or similar facility affected by the development and large amounts of open space remain available nearby.

The Tree Protection Unit (TPU) of the Conservator of Flora and Fauna advised that several large casuarina Cunninghamiana, Quercus species and Eucalyptus melliodora marked for removal be retained where possible and incorporated into the landscaping.

A noise report concluded that the development satisfied relevant noise standards, and that there would be a minimal amount of dust once the project was completed.

”Noting the location, proposed development in conjunction with the existing development and surrounding road network (and use), any pollution impacts are considered limited and capable of approval,” the notice of decision said.

Other concerns raised were that the site was inappropriate, the development would change the neighbourhood, and the impacts of construction.

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Aren’t these people getting a bit precious? They live just outside the centre of a growing city after all. That means development, eateries , employment and transport facilities. Sorry, no sympathy here.

russianafroman7:07 pm 03 Oct 20

Hilarious when people whinge about dirt car parks and empty green patches being removed in place of public transport, which exists to reduce the amount of cars hence giving you more car spaces.

The Bus Layover plans don’t seem to have any provision for charging stations for the 50 electric busses. As the park has capacity for 25 busses (that will probably be sitting there with air-con running) it is probably a perfect place to get some extra charge into the busses while they are idle. It would make sense to incorporate this into the original build of the bus park rather than having to rip it up later.

It was always a bit funny when Turner residents were complaining about extra buses when whole swathes of suburbs lost their bus stops and bus services.

Nah not funny. Just representative of modern life. Doesn’t matter what is done someone will find something with any proposal to have a whinge about.

I’m not sure about your sense of humour JC, but it certainly wasn’t funny for all those people who lost their bus stops and bus services back in 2019.

A bus network change that you repeatedly said would be a great improvement. How’d that turn out in retrospect?

Even Rattenbury and some Labor candidates are now openly admitting Canberra Transport stuffed up the bus network redesign.

Good result

Not many decisions of the planning authority deserve endorsement, but ignoring the NIMBYism on this one does. it is absolutely a reasonable use of that site and what is proposed is perfectly reasonable in terms of minimising the impact on nearby residents (Not that there are truly any that ‘nearby’ per say anyway). Sometimes (and only sometimes) should the whiny loud voices be ignored – and this was one of those cases.

Honestly, is there anything more NIMBY than worrying about the “city coming for their neighbourhood” in an area less than 1km from the city centre?


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