Inner South residents groups have launched a detailed survey to gauge community views on the proposed Stage 2 of light rail from Civic to Woden.
The 23-question survey has been prepared by the Deakin Residents Association with assistance from the Yarralumla Residents Association and the Inner South Canberra Community Council.
The results of the survey will be used to compile submissions to the recently announced Parliamentary inquiry into light rail and the ACT Government’s proposed consultation into the next stage.
The survey includes questions on the siting of the track on Adelaide Avenue, the potential use of light rail, the impact on bus services, the cost, infill opportunities and visual impact on landscape, including loss of trees.
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DRA President George Wilson said this survey had been adapted to take into account the Parliamentary inquiry, which the Association welcomed.
“We think it is a matter of major significance and something that the National Capital Authority and Parliament should take very seriously,” Mr Wilson said.
He said the questions about the costs/benefits of the project were particularly important, with concerns that the cost will blow out, particularly with the route going through Parkes and Barton and the NCA’s conditions such as no overhead wires on national land.
“Going that route means that any chance it ever had of competing with the existing express bus is finished. It looks as if it will take twice as long as the express bus currently does,” he said.
Mr Wilson said the project would also require not just one new bridge to cross the lake but also structures so it could get across Parkes Way and London Circuit.
Then there were the impacts on the amenity and landscape of the Parliamentary zone.
He said a track in between the existing bridges would ruin the aesthetics of that whole vista. “What’s the future for all the trees in front of the Hyatt and the Albert Hall?” he said.
Mr Wilson was in Seville last year where light rail using the same Spanish vehicle runs through the city’s World Heritage Area without overhead wires using a charging station.
“My understanding is it couldn’t do that for the full length of the NCA area which includes the whole of Adelaide Avenue and over the bridges. There’s going to have to be a charging station along the way presumably in Barton,” he said.
While Stage 1 presented obvious development opportunities along Northbourne Avenue, land use along Adelaide Avenue could not be varied, with the Curtin horse paddocks providing the only infill potential.
The survey will run for about two weeks and the results collated for a submission to the Parliamentary inquiry, which is taking submissions until June 15.
The survey can be found here.