Last month in transport (April 2015)

Posted: May 2, 2015 in Transport
Tags: , , ,

Note: Life has been busy for the last 2 months and I have not had a chance to put up any new posts. I am still alive, and after a much needed break it’s time to return. The old weekly updates will probably be replaced with monthly updates supplemented with more posts on specific topics. The aim is for 2-4 posts per month all up.

1 April: Andrew Constance replaces Gladys Berejiklian as Transport Mininster

The former Transport Minister and Deputy Liberal Party Leader, Gladys Berejiklian, received a promotion to Treasurer and will be replaced by Andrew Constance who will hold the new title of Transport and Infrastructure Minister. Duncan Gay remains Roads Minister and John Ajaka is the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Roads.

7 April: Penny Sharpe may remain in Parliament

The Shadow Transport Minister, Penny Sharpe, may be reappointed to the Legislative Council seat that she recently resigned in order to contest the Legislative Assembly seat of Newtown. Ms Sharpe lost her bid to enter the Legislative Assembly and after this loss had initially planned to leave politics.

8 April: Early works begin on SRT

Over coming weeks, geotechnical drilling will occur up to 70 metres below Sydney Harbour to help determine the best location for the new Sydney Rapid Transit railway tunnels. About 30 boreholes will be drilled as part of the Sydney Rapid Transit geotechnical program, with roughly half of them beneath Sydney Harbour and the rest on land either side along the route at Sydenham, in the Sydney CBD, North Sydney, Crows Nest, and Artarmon. Construction is currently planned to begin in 2017, with a 2024 opening date.

Possible alignments and stations for the Second Harbour Rail Crossing. Click to enlarge. (Source: Transport for NSW.)

Possible alignments and stations for the Second Harbour Rail Crossing. Click to enlarge. (Source: Transport for NSW.)

16 April: Initial plans for rail line at Badgerys Creek released

Plans for the layout of a future Badgerys Creek Airport, provided to the Australian Government in February and obtained by the Daily Telegraph, show an airport rail line will run parallel to and in between the eventual 2 runways (shown as a green dashed line in the image below). The rail line is currently planned as an extension of the recently opened South West Rail Link, with a potential further extension North to the Western Line.

22 April: Heavy rains cause flooding and disruption to the rail network

Heavy rains in Sydney caused significant disruptions to the rail network, including the temporary closure of some train stations due to flooding.

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Comments
  1. michblogs says:

    I am glad you are OK. I thought you might have been run over by a bus.

    At Badgery’s Creek, the runways should be in the centre and the terminals on the side. That would reduce noise.

  2. Ray says:

    Thank Christ for Glady’s replacement by Andrew Constance. I hope he has a little more (no, a lot) of reliance to question the bureaucrat’s advice.

  3. Gladys is probably the most influential minister in cabinet. So more likely the result means a weakening of the Transport Department and a strengthening of Treasury.

  4. JC says:

    Gladys has her problems (e.g being a liberal) but probably positive on balance – if only for seeing off Nick Greiner and the bonkers busway. Let’s hope hyer role in the Treasury means $$ for her projects (LR etc). My main worry is what does someone from Bega know from transport??

  5. Simon says:

    I 100% agree with Ray.

    Seeing off Greiner by accepting his major recommendation for a $11.5bn road with a BCR < 0.5? Hmm.

    Two completely unacceptable decisions were made in her time:
    (1) Cancelling the WEX
    (2) Refusing to reduce the station access fee at the airport

    wrt the later, can't they see that reducing the station access fee would make the M5 duplication redundant and unneeded?

  6. JC says:

    Fair enough. Westconnex is close to the worst thing that could happen to central Sydney.

    (Second only to westconnex in an open diitch accompanied by lots of public transport closures and bus replacements)

    I note that the bullyboys have struck again… (www.smh.com.au/nsw/committee-for-sydneys-tim-williams-backs-down-on-motorway-and-westconnex-criticism-20150506-ggv80r.html) we really do need someone to stand up to these people.

    Agree re the airport stations – although arguably that chance was missed under the previous government when the developers went broke and the government could have bought out the contracy for a song.

  7. Greg says:

    I don’t know… While I am mostly philosophically opposed to inner city road projects, this one may be ok.

    Have you read the City of Sydney modelling posted here (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/parramatta-road-traffic-will-increase-under-westconnex-study-shows-20150427-1mueqm.html) recently? The modelling is at http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/232697/150427_COUNCIL_ITEM35_ATTACHMENTA.PDF

    This is hardly an impartial source, yet even this predicts a decrease in traffic along the M4 corridor as a result of the reintroduction of tolls. Sure, there is a shift to Parramatta Rd between Parramatta and Concord, but the Parramatta Rd + M4 total is still lower than the current combined total – a net decrease. This also assumes no road capacity change in that section of Parramatta Rd. I dare say this is the perfect justification for some road space reallocation to parking and public transport to discourage that shift.

    Another corridor that benefits is King Georges Rd. I would love to see this used as an opportunity to have bus lanes put on this road between Hurstville and Olympic Park (or somewhere on the Western Line) to build up patronage and development in anticipation of a future cross regional metro line in this corridor.

    I am much less thrilled by expanding capacity on existing roads, and so I would prefer if the project just started at Concord and wend through to near the airport and was complemented by introducing tolls on the existing roads at their existing capacities. There was some modelling in the report on this (minus the new bits – just the tolling existing) and it showed good traffic reductions on the M4, but not much of a drop on the M5. I wonder if the result would have been different if it also removed the M5 cashback.

    There has also been this article lately: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/westconnex-to-trigger-sydney-tollroad-overhaul-20150417-1mnbze.html

    The possibility of the government using WestConnex to impose per km tolls on other roads such as Harbour Bridge/Tunnel, Western Distributer and Anzac Bridge, Southern Cross Drive and General Holmes Drive is exciting – a de-facto congestion charge. This could form the basis of a future move to time of day tolling that lets us control the congestion level throughout the day. I would like to see modelling of the effect of just introducing tolls on all of those roads now, plus just the M4 East/ M4 South section of WestConnex – no existing M4/M5 capacity expansions.

  8. Simon says:

    A chance was missed, not “the” chance.

  9. Simon says:

    Greg, just run more and faster trains on the Western Line and other lines and reduce the station access fee at the airport. That would part traffic congestion like Moses. I don’t understand why the major political parties don’t want to do it.

  10. Bob says:

    Ok so much to catch up on. Constance and Berejiklian don’t talk. Been that way for a long time. Can’t be good.

  11. Simon says:

    I wouldn’t talk to Gladys either.

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