Action for Public Transport (N.S.W.) Inc.
|P O Box K606|
|Haymarket NSW 1240|
|16 June 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 Review of Environmental Factors dated March 2017 relating to route M61 services.
Bus priority generally
The project is designated Bus Priority Program but there are two difficulties with that name:
The map on page 16 and in the community update leaflet incorrectly shows route M61 crossing the M2. It doesn't - the M60 does. M61 buses use the M2 etc. to/from the CBD. Perhaps the intention is to benefit M60 and M61 buses identically north of the M2. It is worth noting that the M61 is likely to be cut when Sydney Metro services commence in 2019; the M60 is less likely to be affected.
The same road is used by buses 600 610 610X 612X 619 627 and, north of Cross St, 630. If the 6xx buses are supposed to use different stops from the M buses, some scheme should be devised for marking the stops so the difference is obvious to intending passengers.
Omission from the REF
The REF does not discuss the costly detour via Terminus Street which delays every bus a couple of minutes, is uncomfortable for passengers owing to the curves and steep grades of Cecil Avenue and Crane Road, and makes passengers walk further to destinations in the top 400 metres of Old Northern Road. It is obscene that cars can use Old Northern Road but buses can't. A prime objective of this bus priority program should be to remove or reverse that inequality.
Bus stops should generally be in pairs, one on each side of the road, located somewhere the road can be crossed safely. In the case of busy roads such as Old Northern Road, that means the stops should be very close to traffic signals if at all possible. There are only three signal-controlled intersections between Olive Street and Cecil Avenue - a distance of 3 km. Yet Old Northern Road has a speed limit of 60 km/h and has many curves and crests which make crossing the road awkward for the fleet-footed and dangerous for all. There should be safe crossing facilities, preferably signal-controlled, at or near Cross St and perhaps Chelsea Avenue. Note that St Gabriel's is a special school so any requirements for bus access and/or safe crossing should be taken into account.