New transport plan for Sydney

Posted: September 17, 2011 in Transport
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The new Liberal government recently announced that they would be reviewing the state transport plan. It’s probably worth quickly going over the existing transport plan and those that preceded it. The previous Labor government produced transport plans in 1998 (Action for Transport 2010), 2005 (City of Cities: A Plan for Sydney’s Future) and 2010 (Connecting the City of Cities). The first was a 12 year plan (with proposals for 3 train lines post-2010), while the next two were 25 year plans.

Action for Transport

The NSW Government released this plan in 1998. All the road proposals were constructed, yet only a third of the public transport ones were. (Source: NSW Government)

The plans themselves were actually quite good, particularly the first in 1998. The problem was implementing them. For example, the first plan in 1998 had 16 proposals for public transport and 5 for new freeways. Of those 21 goals, it achieved 2.5/7 busways (the Parramatta to Liverpool T-Way, theParramatta to Rouse Hill T-Way, and half the Blacktown to Castle Hill T-Way), 1.5/8 rail lines (the Airport Line and half the Parramatta to Chatswood Line), 1/1 light rail lines (the extension to Lilyfield) but 5/5 new freeways (the Eastern Distributor, M2, Cross City Tunnel, Lane Cove Tunnel, and M7). In other words, it built as many road projects as public transport ones, despite proposing over 3 times as many public transport projects as road ones.

City of Cities

By 2010, the government’s transport plan looked like this. (Source: NSW Government)

As I mentioned in my post on the Dulwich Hill Light Rail update, the RTA and NSW Treasury have jointly worked to torpedo many of these projects in the past. They have done this by over-inflating the price and focusing on roads at the expense of public transport.

Going back to the new transport plan. The key thing here is not how many or even how good the government’s transport plan is. The 1998 plan was a good one, and even the plan to build an independent network of metros which the Iemma and Rees governments briefly considered would be better than what we have now. As long as something is actually delivered at the end of it all, not just a plan. The new Liberal government has eliminated the RTA, which will hopefully get rid of one road block to improved public transport (no pun intended). But I’m still not holding my breath on this.

  1. […] and actually got the new system implented, as it is scheduled to begin next year on the ferries. As I’ve mentioned before, actually scoring runs on the board by achieving things rather than just announcing plans for them […]

  2. […] network to a single deck metro style system. This proposal is one of seven being prepared for the update to Sydney’s transport plan due for completion next year, and is reportedly the one being pushed by Transport Department […]

  3. […] first announced in February 2010 as part of the Metropolitan Transport Plan (which I wrote about here), it would involve the construction of the $4.5 billion City Relief Line, a new line between […]

  4. […] so if feel free to skip to page 24 if you want to get to the meat of the report. I have previously voiced concerns about a new transport plan, as it suggests trashing the previous plan and starting again from scratch. In NSW, this reminds me […]

  5. […] planning stages as the Parramatta to Chatswood Rail Link, part of the Carr Government’s 1998 Action for Transport. The line would actually run from Westmead, going to Parramatta, then joining up to a duplicated […]

  6. […] onto Blacktown as well as between St Marys and Penrith as well as others (Source: Transport Sydney, New Transport Plan for Sydney). Today, other corridors are under consideration for BRT or light rail, including Parramatta Road, […]

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