Action for Public Transport (N.S.W.) Inc.
|P O Box K606|
|Haymarket NSW 1240|
|8 November 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 September 2017 for Sydney Metro - city & southwest - Sydenham to Bankstown.
We cannot support this proposal, especially because of the massive disruption that its construction would cause. This disruption would extend over several years and would include a final period of several months during which there would be no rail service between Sydenham and Bankstown.
We are also concerned about the long-term disruption caused by permanently forcing travellers on the existing Bankstown railway to change at Bankstown for travel via Yagoona.
We would prefer to see a properly-planned railway network supplementing the existing double-deck system. We note that single-deck trains with wide doorways and limited seating are optimal for short trips such as those taken around the inner suburbs of London, New York, Tokyo, Paris etc. on the metro-style railways of those cities. We do not think single-deck metro-style trains are a good match for the longer trips typical of the Bankstown line. We note that there is only one planned Sydney Metro stop (Waterloo) between Central and Sydenham, a distance of 5 km. The Paris metro has 303 stations and only 214 km of track,1 suggesting an average spacing between stations of about 700 metres.
We are particularly concerned about plans for Sydenham station. The whole idea of an efficient Metro network is that lines intersect at several interchange stations; there is no need for a central station which all lines pass through. Metro construction works at Sydenham station should have been planned to permit cross-platform interchange, rather like that at Chatswood, between Metro SW trains and Illawarra trains. Without much more disruption than the Bankstown line is already facing, this could have been done by having two levels of tracks at Sydenham, one for northbound trains and one for southbound or westbound trains.
We feel that the disadvantages of the Sydenham-Bankstown plan outweigh the advantages it might eventually have. We would like to see a fuller Metro network designed for the inner suburbs instead of the myopic planning noted above. The additional rail capacity under the CBD which Sydney Metro provides is very welcome but it should be put to better use with less disruption.
We recommend that the Sydenham-Bankstown plan be dropped in favour of a proper metro network.