WHAT'S ON IN NATIONAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT WEEK
SATURDAY JULY 31 TO MONDAY AUGUST 2 (BANK HOLIDAY):
Historical Display by A.R.H.S. - Central No 10 Platform: Book sales, Photo and Model Displays
MONDAY AUG 2 TO FRIDAY AUG 8:
The Bus That Bends Ride the $90,000 M.A.N. articulated bus - Free (we hope) = the very latest in European city bus design, probably on the 417 Quay-Central route via Pitt and Castlereagh Sts.
TUESDAY AUG 3 TO WEDNESDAY AUG 4:
Electric Bus Goes on Line Federal Transport Minister Nixon officially "switches on" the battery bus, built by Sydney engineer, Mr Leembruggen (9.30 Opera House). Bus later goes on static display in Hyde Park (near Queen's Square) with display of electric driven vehicles by Australian Electric Traction Association.
MONDAY AUG 2: S.P.T.C. GENERAL MEETING, 5.30pm, 263B Broadway
TUESDAY AUG 3:
Discussion Meeting, Great Southern Hotel, George St opposite Eddy Ave (in lounge, right hand side at back) 5.30 pm
TUESDAY AUG 3:
Institute of Engineers Address: "Gosford-Newcastle Rail Electrification", 118 Alfred St, North Sydney, 5.30pm
THURSDAY AUG 5:
Bicycle Institute of N.S.W. Public Meeting, Science House, 157 Gloucester St, 7-30 pm
SUNDAY AUG 8:
Unwinding Picnic, Loftus Tram Museum. Meet in the front carriage of this train:
IMPORTANT ! ! !
ELECTION OF OFFICEBEARERS The positions of convenor and secretary are both now vacant. Elections to fill these positions will take place at the General Meeting on August 2. Please come along and ensure a representative vote.
IS BOTANY BAY BOUND FOR IT?
The Port and Environment Enquiry has opened an Information Centre in Waratah Centre, 1205 Botany Road, in Mascot Shopping Centre. The Centre will be open 10 30. am to 5.00 pm, Tuesday to Friday, and following suggestions from ourselves and others, Thursday evenings from 5.30 to 8.00.
Ray Rauscher has prepared an excellent submission to this enquiry, opposing further development. It is based on interviews with Botany residents. We propose that Ray and Kevin Eadie will make an oral submission to the Enquiry, during which they will attack the narrow terms of reference.
In his written submission, Ray produced evidence that air and noise pollution problems in the area are already serious and that a high proportion of residents have lived in the area for more than ten years. He raised the question of what it would cost to justly compensate residents for the effects of the increased traffic that would be generated by the port, especially if trucks were the main form of transport used (see "What's on").
THE BONDI TRAIN IS OVERDUE
We are anxious to hold a public meeting towards the end of August to raise the level of public debate, over the future of the Eastern Suburbs Railway, The estimated cost ($250 million) and operating deficit ($45m per annum) of this project continue to be discussed without reference to the costs of the alternative transport systems. There must be consideration of the social costs (accidents, pollution, fuel resource wastage) of the motor car, the most likely alternative if the ESR is abandoned. We received fair media coverage of a press release on June 27, which drew attention to inflation costs and unsatisfactory public transport funding policies. In that former mecca of the motor car, the U.S.A., the Federal Government now grants up to 80 per cent of the construction costs of new urban public transport projects. Similar action here would, in one stroke, solve the problem of the ESR. The ESR would not only benefit passengers to the Eastern Suburbs. It would increase the capacity of the city centre railway system, allowing improvement of services to areas as far away as Gosford.
|BREAKDOWN OF ESR CAPITAL COSTS||$millions
|Already spent (to June 30, 1976)||104|
|Needed to complete to Bondi Junction||56|
|Roads construction/ diversion||18|
|Cost escalation allowance||46|
We will, of course, be making a submission to the ESR Board of Review, before the closing date of August 16. Ideas, please, to our pub meetings (see "what's on") or write in.
Among the terms of reference of the Board of Review: "2. To make such recommendations as it sees fit in respect of the management and control of the project, on the assumption that the project would be entirely abandoned."
The July meeting resolved that the minister should be asked to accept two representatives from our organisation on the Commuter Council. As he said the number must be restricted to one for the time being, Sheila Swain will be our representative, as she obtained the highest number of votes, and Kevin Eadie will be stand-by. Sheila is an alderman on Hunter's Hill council and her experience should prove invaluable to ourselves and the Commuters of Sydney
Public transport fares in N.S.W. were reduced by an average of 20% - the first fare reduction this century. The move was backed by a comprehensive marketing programme, and implemented a pre-election Labor Party promise.
COMMUTER CAR PARKS
Minister Cox has released details of these for 16 suburban railway stations. There was no mention of provision for bicycles however - an ideal vehicle for home-station trips. A suitable means of secure storage would, of course, be essential. Any ideas?
PEDESTRIANISATION OF SYDNEY
We have complimented the City Council for its West Rocks and Circular Quay Action Plans. (Report Sydney Morning Herald 7/7/76). Both plans, if implemented, will improve the lot of the pedestrian and public transport user. Stage 2 of Martin plaza is due to open on July 22.
BURWOOD TRAFFIC STUDY
Burwood (N.S.W.) Council is carrying out a traffic study. Any ideas?
YES...WE ARE MOVING
To 128 Chalmers St, Sydney. The new phone number as from 26th July will be 69 6354 or 69 6355. The switch will only be personned 8.30am - 12.30 pm 1.30pm - 4.00 Pm
WHAT'S ON OUTSIDE NATIONAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT WEEK
Discussion meetings in the Lounge Bar (Right hand side at the back), Great Southern Hotel, George St, opposite Eddy Ave. MEALS ARE AVAILABLE. -5.30
TUESDAY, JULY 27
MEETING will discuss our submission to the Botany Bay Enquiry.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 28:
South Steyne Preservation Society's First A.G.M., Belgrave St Assembly Hall, Manly. - 7.30
(details to be determined): Public meeting to discuss future of Eastern Suburbs Railway.
TUESDAY AUGUST 24:(tentative):
Botany Bay Public Meeting, Hurstville Civic Centre
TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY AUG 31/SEPT 1
9am-5pm, -- Bus Proprietor's show. Latest vehicles will be on show. This is not a public exhibition but SPTC members will be welcome. Showground - Smithfield Rd. Fairfield West. (near Hamilton Rd.)
PUBLIC TRANSPORT "HANDBOOK"
Australia wide -in preparation- for public sale, probably late August.
Being undertaken for Cincinnati, Ohio. Guess who's doing it?----General Motors
THE FUTURE OF THE EASTERN SUBURBS RAILWAY ..... A DEBATE
Comment By Dave Johnson
As a carpenter on the ESR, I have been asked to state my reasons for believing that the project should be completed as originally intended, rather than being deferred any longer. It firstly needs to be said that, despite the many supreme optimists, it remains a fact, not some fallacy mooted in academia, that world oil reserves are finite. Australia's own self-sufficiency in this vital product, looking at known reserves, will expire within 15 years. Looked at from this angle, it would seem that the motor car, as we know it will, in the relatively near future, become a facet of 20th Century life, relegated to its niche in history.
Alternative personalised transport does not offer much hope in this direction. Steam would still rely on the petro-derivative, kerosene, or some similar product, to remain practical. The battery-powered car has inherent disadvantages of weight and limited mileage. These factors have not been overcome to anything like a satisfactory degree in over 70 years of development, while hydrogen, a suggested substitute for petroleum, remains a highly volatile and unstable fuel form.
It is these facts which make me believe in the future of public transport. An ongoing programme for the upgrading and, where necessary, amplification and addition to the state's rail network, based on the state's huge coal reserves, should be initiated with electric traction in mind. I think it is grossly erroneous to see the ongoing construction of the ESR as some form of huge liability. Rather our thinking should turn towards the long-term benefits that the completion of the line implies, which include lack of surface congestion, an intrinsic right of way, speed and a carrying capacity unequalled by any other transport mode. Such a project admittedly does involve property resumptions, but on nothing like the scale which expressways require.
I don't think I have yet heard of anything which, in my humble experience as a layman, constitutes anything like a viable alternative to these proposals including above-surface tramways, transit lanes for buses and other methods too numerous to mention. Once again, I reiterate that tunneling costs, though they may be high, will in the end benefit all concerned (in this case the residents of one of the most densely populated regions of Sydney) and completion of the railway will give Sydney an invaluable asset for the future.
Comment By Kevin Eadie
In common with Dave Johnson, I am employed on the Eastern Suburbs Railway and I agree that the future of the motor car depends on diminishing oil reserves. However, I do not agree that electric railways like the ESR are necessarily the best solution.
The bus is actually more energy efficient than the train and requires fewer interchange facilities by virtue of the fact that it can use both private right-of-way and public street and is therefore more attractive to the public. It has comparable carrying capacity - (the answer to peak load problems is staggered hours, not inefficient off-peak services) and offers scope for reducing capital costs (by tunneling only where economically feasible) and labour costs (by using automatic "on board" fare collection and no station staff.
ALLAN SORRENSEN TRANSPORTED
Allan has accepted the position of National Liaison Officer with the Australian Conservation Foundation in Canberra, a job we're sure he'll love and we wish him well with it. He has really advanced the aims of the Committee and will continue to do so, we hope. We will be ever indebted to him for his ability and knowledge, particularly in the areas of politics and the media. In the meantime, Don Morison (95 5731) is Acting Convenor and Kevin Eadie (81 4268) is Acting Secretary.