One of the spill-over effects of the cost blow-out and delay to the light rail extension to Dulwich Hill has been the indefinite deferral of the Greenway that was to run parallel to the new line, allowing people to travel on bike and foot along Sydney’s Inner West. Initially believed to be because of the cost blowout, it now turns out that the deferral (in effect a cancellation) was in order to prevent the construction schedule from blowing out any further, rather than a purely financial decision. While it would have been cheaper to build both at the same time, it’s clear the new Liberal government wants to avoid any further embarrassment from a delay to this project, given they criticised the previous Labor government so much for all the delays to transport projects under their watch.
A community lobby group, the Friends of the Greenway, has been pushing for the government to reverse this decision. The group, which had previously been pushing for changes to the design, has taken on a whole new direction in light of the cancellation of this project.
All this could be solved if construction could be completed to the original schedule. Why a 5.5km extension on a pre-existing right of way, where the tracks have already been laid, and all that is required is to put up some overhead wiring and build a few new stations is going to take over 2 years still astounds me. There is no logical reason in my mind why this new line shouldn’t be up and running in 2012. Solve that, and all this should we/shouldn’t we argument over building the Greenway becomes completely irrelevant.