pub meeting, Great Southern Hotel, George St opposite Rawson Place, 5.30pm.
Monday 7th March:
monthly general meeting. NOTE NEW ADDRESS of the Environment Centre: 399 Pitt St, 1st floor. 5.30pm. These meetings generally last about two hours, so come late or leave early as you please.
NSW Council for the Ageing will hold "Morning Teas" to discuss problems of the aged including transport problems, ph 27 4857
FREEWAYS - FINANCES
We approve the State Government's decision to axe some inner city freeways, despite a sustained campaign by the roads lobby. The decisions on the Eastern Distributor and the North-western Freeway have yet to be made - we still support residents in the affected areas, who are pressing for no more freeways, improved traffic management and provision of more bus lanes.
Mr. Cox's decision that the land bought for freeways would be sold and the money used for improving local roads is rather alarming. We had suggested that the land should remain under state government ownership to be used for parkland and low income housing. At least Mr. Cox could have kept his election promise to use the money from sale of freeway land for improving public transport.
This brings us to the vexed question of Federal finance. We are pleased to learn that the Federal Government has cut its funding for freeway construction in the 1977-1978 Roads Grants. It is unfortunate that the funds saved are not being put into the Urban Public Transport Improvement Scheme; it seems to have died a slow death. If the Federal Government gave NSW as big a grant for public transport as it does for roads ($154m for 1977-1978), the State Government would not need to beg money from the Loans Council to make the railways safe.
SMH 24/2/77: "The NRMA's chief executive, Mr. G.F. Webster, said the Government had apparently been swayed by a vocal minority ." Just who is he referring to?
LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND ...
In the November 1976 newsletter we mentioned an NRMA survey on travel habits of motorists driving to the city. Geoff Dawson wrote a detailed commentary on what we see as misleading and inaccurate aspects of this report. We have circulated copies to politicians and various authorities. Any member who wants a copy ring 44 1358.
Its business sessions so far have been mainly concerned with procedural matters. SPT has made submissions regarding the Council's terms of reference and the operation of buses on freeways. Future submissions will relate to pensioner fares, an improved ticketing system, western harbour ferries and Mercedes buses.
We fully support Mr. Cox's ban on smoking in urban public transport. The confusion with the problem of inflammable seats is unfortunate. The smoking ban can stand on its own merits as part of the world wide trend to limit smoking in confined public spaces in the interests of good health, clean air and reduced littering.
"Save Public Transport Committee" is somewhat cumbersome. There are several possible changes - perhaps simply "Save Public Transport". If you have an idea, bring it up at the monthly meeting or ring one of the management Committee (eg 81.4268, 95.5731, 44.1358)
Bob Miller has attended the Granville Inquiry and is preparing a submission which will suggest that the Granville disaster provides evidence of a broader problem relating to rail safety and PTC administration.
It is proposed to print the newsletter every two months; this would save postage, and allow your hardworking editorial staff to devote more time to more productive activities, such as obtaining press coverage. However, we realize that the newsletter is the main benefit of membership, and some may object to reducing its numbers. So if you feel that the move would not be a good one, let us know. We need membership involvement. We ask anyone who believes in the value of what we are doing to give up some of their time to the public transport cause. Work can be done in almost any field. Come to a meeting or contact Secretary Geoff Dawson (44 1358) or convenor Don Morison (95 5731).