Action for Public Transport (N.S.W.) Inc.
Action for Public Transport (NSW) is a transport advocacy group which has been active since 1974. We promote the interests of beneficiaries of public transport; both passengers, and the wider community. We make the following submissions on the Review of Environmental Factors dated April 2016 for the Newcastle Light Rail.
The revitalisation of land in the Newcastle heavy rail corridor should be done in a way that leaves open the opportunity for a future enlightened Government to restore heavy rail services on all or part of the corridor. The corridor available for eventual restoration of heavy rail should extend through Civic to the former Newcastle station. The corridor need not be clear of buildings - easements suitable for two tracks of underground heavy rail with appropriate platforms and crossovers etc. could and should be reserved in any buildings on the rest of the corridor.
We are concerned that, despite the recently-announced changes to the Opal fares, there are still penalties on changing mode. There should be no extra Opal fare charge, under any name, for passengers changing between buses, LRVs and/or heavy rail. Extra fares which discourage interchange would work against the intention of the proposed Newcastle light rail system and would result in fewer public transport passengers but more single-occupant cars.
We note that the proposed light rail route intersects with roads at several points, some of them controlled by traffic lights. We recommend that light rail have priority over all other road traffic (excepting only emergency vehicles) just as it does on the Glenelg-Adelaide line.