PARRAMATTA light rail is right on track, said Transport Minister Andrew Constance today as he visited Centenary Square and outlined more information about the development and its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Here is all we now know about light rail:
■ Stage 1 of the project will connect Westmead to Carlingford via Parramatta CBD and Camellia with a two-way track spanning 12 kilometres
■ It will provide access to light rail for an estimated 130,000 people within walking distance of light rail stops by 2026, increasing to 180,000 by 2041
■ There will be 16 stops including Westmead, Westmead Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Cumberland hospital, Factory St, Fennell St, Prince Alfred Square, Eat St, Parramatta Square, Harris St, Tramway Avenue, Camelia, Rydalmere, Dundas, Telopea, Carlingford.
■ Services will depart approximately every 7.5 minutes between 7am and 7pm and every 15 minutes outside the all-day peak
■ Each air conditioned 45 metre long light rail vehicle will be driver-operated and able to carry around 300 passengers.
■ There will be a shared pedestrian and cycle path between Parramatta and Carlingford as part of the construction
■ There will also be two light rail and pedestrian zones, one along Church St (between Market and Macquarie Sts) and Macquarie St between Horwood Pl and Smith St
■ New bridges to be built over James Ruse Drive and Clay Cliff Creek on the Parramatta River, Kissing Point Rd and Vineyard Creek, Rydalmere
■ Congestion will be cut on one of Sydney’s major arterial roads by removing the train level crossing on Parramatta Road
■ Construction will start in 2018 and the network is expected to begin operating in 2023
■ So far, $1 billion has been earmarked for light rail.
■ At least 863 parking spaces will be lost due to light rail. Around 168 of those will be relocated into nearby streets
■ Some road intersections along or near the new track are likely to see worse traffic congestion, according to the EIS
■ There will be some impacts on both Aboriginal archaeological sites and non-Aboriginal heritage items, says the EIS
■ Both businesses and residential homes will be acquired and demolished or removed, including the Royal Oak Hotel, Harry’s Café de Wheels and a block of 28 homes
■ Stage 2 — which will see light rail out to Olympic Park, has now been confirmed today by Mr Constance who said it would be built hand-in-hand with the planned underground Metro West to avoid duplication.
“We are getting on with the job of delivering this important infrastructure project and I encourage the community to get involved and help shape this exciting project for Western Sydney,” Mr Constance said.
“Transport for NSW staff are currently undertaking surveys with local businesses to understand their needs and potential impacts during construction and operation of the project,” a spokesman said.
“When planning major infrastructure projects, Transport for NSW makes every possible effort to avoid the need to acquire private property and has been engaging with the community and key stakeholders, including property owners whose premises may need to be acquired to enable the project to proceed.”
More than 17 properties will be compulsory acquired by the government to make way for the light rail, including 11 commercial buildings and six residential properties — one of them an apartment block housing 28 units.
THIRTY thousand football fans spilling out on to the streets of Parramatta — that’s the warning from critics of the proposed light rail route, who say the planned stop is simply too far from the stadium precinct.
Western Sydney Stadium is expected to be complete in the next two years alongside Parramatta Leagues Club’s own $150 million development but club CEO Bevan Paul says the two neighbours have barely spoken.
“We have had no direct engagement on the route,” he said.
“I understand there has been some discussion within the community on whether this is the best route and why this is the best route.
“I wonder if when the Western Sydney Stadium becomes a destination and there are a lot people walking a couple of blocks to the stadium, what that means for policing in the area.”
Parramatta Council administrator Amanda Chadwick voiced her intention to lodge a submission based on community responses.
“Following consultations to hear the communities’ responses to the exhibited route, Council will be making a submission to the State Government on the detailed elements of the project including the route, stop locations, integration with other forms of transport, and design elements, during the public exhibition of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS),” she said.
“City of Parramatta Council supports the Parramatta Light Rail project and recognises the transformation that this project will bring to the CBD and surrounding areas including improved public transport connections, public domain enhancements and environmental sustainability.”
Source: Tony Bosworth, Parramatta Advertiser, “What you need to know about Parramatta light rail”, The Daily Telegraph, August 23, 2017