Action for Public Transport (N.S.W.) Inc.
|P O Box K606|
|Haymarket NSW 1240|
|23 October 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 of passengers and the wider community. We make this submission on the Environmental Impact Statement dated August 2017 for Stage 1 of the Parramatta Light Rail service.
This project is a major investment for the NSW Government and every effort should be made to ensure that its construction is completed with minimal disruption and that its operation is successful and leads to light rail becoming a popular transport mode in the Parramatta area. Several matters should be considered:
It is vital that the massive chronic disruption in other parts of Sydney caused by poor administration of infrastructure construction not be replicated with Parramatta Light Rail. Hence, all PLR construction contracts should be structured to provide a strong incentive to minimise disruption. Tenderers for each stage of construction should be asked to specify not only a price but also how many weeks they intend to complete the work in. The expected duration should be taken into account in choosing contractors. Contracts should specify the intended duration as a target and should have financial incentives for the contractor to meet the target then promptly clean up and vacate the site.
There should be rent relief to businesses adversely affected by construction.
The proposed route for Stage 2 was announced recently. It is to be hoped there will be further stages. The intention with Stage 2 seems to be that trams from Olympic Park share the Stage 1 tracks east of Camellia, certainly to the Parramatta CBD and perhaps to Westmead. The shared tracks will need capacity for the Carlingford trams (8/hour each way) and the Olympic Park trams (possibly 12/hour or more) with scope for further increases up to perhaps 30 trams/hour. All platforms should be designed to allow for future lengthening with longer trams, perhaps up to 48 metres.
Planning should commence now for a possible second leg of the Stages 1-2 network. This leg might go west or north-west or south-west. Also, tram paths into and out of Parramatta CBD for future limbs of a larger light rail network should be identified and preserved.
Obviously, Carlingford light rail station should be designed to facilitate work commencing on a tunnelled extension to Carlingford Court and Epping.
Negotiations with Council and particularly with Roads & Maritime Services should include ensuring traffic signals will always give priority to trams at intersections subject only to emergency vehicles. This priority may well extend to eliminating most cars from designated areas.
Island platforms are sometimes considered desirable however they can easily overflow, pushing people onto the tracks and and/or the road. Especially on roads, kerbside platforms are safer. Again on roads, there should be strong enforcement of a ban on other vehicles passing stopped trams.
Passengers shouldn't be expected to stand for more than 10 minutes, except perhaps those aged under 40 who don't have strong reasons for needing a seat. Many passengers have bags etc. Carrying capacities of trams should recognise accepted standards of passenger comfort.
We understand that the Inner West light rail has some standards different from those of the CBD & South East light rail, even though CSELR trams need to use IWLR tracks to the Lilyfield depot. This apparently would prevent trams carrying passengers direct between e.g. Dulwich Hill and Circular Quay. Careful consideration should be given to standards that might become constraints.
The EIS is quite sound however a few points should be attended to.
We recommend that: