Action for Public Transport (N.S.W.) Inc.
|P O Box K606|
|Haymarket NSW 1240|
|2 August 2017|
Action for Public Transport (NSW) is a transport advocacy group active in Sydney since 1974. We promote the interests of beneficiaries of public transport; both passengers, and the wider community. We make this submission on the Modification Report for Central Walk, part of Sydney Metro Chatswood to Sydenham project.
APTNSW is concerned that proper attention has not been given to the thousands of people who use the Devonshire Street pedestrian tunnel daily. Page 28 of the report states:
3.2.3 Connection to the Devonshire Street Tunnel
This option would involve a direct connection from the new metro concourse into the Devonshire Street Tunnel. This would enable passengers to access the tunnel directly and move in either an east or west direction without having to go through the southeast gate line.
However the existing Devonshire Street Tunnel currently has a low head height (2.7 metres), narrow width (5.4 metres), and lack of natural light. Pedestrian modelling indicates that the tunnel width would need to be expanded substantially to meet anticipated future capacity requirements. Widening the tunnel would require a cut and cover construction method and due to the insufficient space between the top of the tunnel and the track formation above, this would necessitate the progressive shut down of all suburban train lines. This would result in a lengthy process over several years with the tunnel closed to pedestrians during that time.
Although this option would provide an additional benefit of passengers being able to travel to both the east and the west, this option would not benefit passengers wishing to interchange between the suburban and the future metro platforms. Passengers would be required to use the existing pedestrian tunnels within the station, which would not address the existing wayfinding and navigation challenges, and capacity constraints.
Due to the technical complexities and limited customer benefit, this option has not been progressed.
Simply, if the tunnel cannot be widened it should be duplicated. This could be done either to the south with a completely new tunnel about 220 metres long or to the north by extending paid area tunnels about 60 metres to Ambulance Avenue. The work should be included in the Sydney Metro Chatswood to Sydenham project and is justified by the expected increase in passenger numbers when Sydney Metro is operational. The work should be arranged so that at least one tunnel between Chalmers St and Henry Deane Plaza is open at all times. Importantly, the southern end of the Sydney Metro platforms should have direct access to the paid area tunnel under platform 14.