The peak industry body, Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has welcomed the NSW Government’s funding commitment to city-shaping public transport and road projects that will help Sydney reach its potential as a truly global city.
TTF Chief Executive Office, Margy Osmond, said Sydney was on the cusp of a public transport revolution.
“The construction of the metro-style North West Rail Link and the Sydney Metro will deliver the biggest boost to public transport in Sydney for several generations,” Ms Osmond said.
“We are particularly pleased that the Government has announced a station at Barangaroo as part of the Sydney Metro project, which has been a key ask by TTF to ensure that this financial and cultural precinct is properly linked by public transport to the rest of the CBD and Sydney.
“The roll-out of light rail in the CBD, eastern suburbs and Parramatta will mean that Sydney residents and visitors will be served, for the first time, by both world-class metro rail services and light rail.
“The Government’s commitment to these projects and the completion of the missing links in our motorway networks will boost Sydney’s productivity and ensure that we are better placed to manage population and economic growth.
“It is hard to fault this Government’s commitment to proper long-term planning and a balanced approach to transport infrastructure, which recognises that both public transport and roads need to be part of the mix of services provided to commuters.
“The scale of infrastructure construction will pose challenges for Sydney in the short-term but is absolutely necessary if we are to address decades of short-sighted and inadequate transport planning.”
Ms Osmond said that while the Government’s transport plan is ambitious, there is still room to be thinking about additional improvements to the public transport network.
“We remain concerned that the State and Federal Governments are yet to commit to the early provision of rail services to the Western Sydney Airport. Providing rail links to Badgerys Creek will help to ensure its accessibility and success and should be jointly funded by both governments.
“There is also scope to better utilise existing rail assets – we have been strong supporters of extending the Eastern Suburbs line to Bondi Beach – both to better serve tourists visiting our most iconic beach and also residents living along one of the most congested transport corridors.
“The Government also needs to encourage more people to use the rail link to Sydney airport and the best way to do this is to slash the costs of tickets to the airport which currently stand at $16.40 for a single journey from the CBD.
“We know from the experience at Mascot and Green Square that if prices are reduced, patronage will sky rocket – which will help reduce road congestion around the airport.
“Overall the Baird Government deserves praise for its commitment to taking Sydney’s infrastructure to a new level – Sydneysiders will reap the benefits for the decades to come,” Ms Osmond said.