Light Rail a National Priority: Infrastructure Australia

Infrastructure Australia

Infrastructure Australia has made the availability of light rail a national priority to improve transport links between Sydney’s central business district (CBD) and Green Square.

The reason that drove the federal infrastructure advisor to take this decision is the increasing cost of congestion, speculated population growth and limited options of public transport in the region. Initially, the project was not considered so important because there was no traffic congestion observed in the region, which could drive finance from the federal government for light rail build up.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the infrastructure advisor has claimed that in the next twenty years, transport network operations between the CBD and South way towards Sydney Airport will not be able to handle extra 30,000 residents. Therefore, the light rail availability must be considered. It proposed the need for a “high-speed, rapid transport link which could be bus or light rail” that will cover the distance between the CBD and the unreserved areas of the south.

Infrastructure Australia mentioned that the transport network might extend to Mascot, Sydney Airport, Rosebery and Port Botany. “Due to road congestion, bus transport to the Sydney CBD is slow and unreliable,” a report from the infrastructure advisor stated. “Potential growth in bus transport, to service a larger population, will add to congestion close to the centre of Sydney.”

The list of prioritised projects was presented on Wednesday. The report contained the first 15-year infrastructure planning of the agency. The prioritisation was made depending upon the national audit data and consultation with the state government and its territorial counterpart.

The Canberra Times reported the advisor unveiled its least interest in endorsing ACT government’s investment on light rail worth $698 million but it discovered that main arterial roads of Canberra region require significant attention.

Infrastructure Australia’s policy and research Director Adrian Dwyer said that the list prioritised the public transport needs that required proper improvement. “This congestion is being caused by limited road and public transport capacity and increasing travel demand as a result of major population growth in the corridor,” the report stated.”The audit shows the cost of delay on greater Canberra’s urban transport network was $200 million in 2011 and is projected to increase to $700 million in 2031.

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