Lord Mayor Clover Moore today welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement that work will soon begin on a $1.6 billion light rail line from Randwick to Circular Quay.
“This is a huge win for Sydney,” the Lord Mayor said.
“It’s a massive investment in the future of our city – the global city of Australia.
“Light rail can carry up to 8,000 people an hour – a modern, low-floor tram will get more people across the city faster with lower environmental impacts. This will reduce traffic congestion making it easier for everyone to get around and for businesses to thrive.
“Congestion costs Sydney businesses and residents an estimated $5.1 billion a year, and that’s projected to rise to $8.8 billion by 2021.
“Doing nothing is not an option. Our train system is reaching capacity, bus passengers face major delays, our roads are grinding to a halt and our footpaths are overcrowded.
“This is a very welcome announcement.”
The Lord Mayor said the City lobbied hard for light rail on George Street because of the congestion people faced during peak hours when up to 360 buses an hour all tried to crawl towards Circular Quay.
“It makes sense running light rail down George Street because it already has excellent interchanges with buses, ferries and trains while also passing key tourism and retail attractions including the QVB, Chinatown and Circular Quay,” the Lord Mayor said.
“It’s also easier to build a light rail line down George Street compared to other streets, with fewer traffic impacts and engineering challenges. Only a small number of driveways directly open onto George Street and there are no steep grades, sharp bends or difficult crossfalls.
“We are also very pleased that the Government has backed our calls for a part of George Street (between Bathurst Street and Hunter Street) to be pedestrianised.
“As part of that work we will open up a network of vibrant lanes and small plazas which will help shops, bars and other small businesses to thrive. This will give Sydney the inviting main street it needs to remain commercially competitive and draw tourists to our city.
“World-class retailers such as Apple, Louis Vuitton, and Topshop have recently located flagship stores on George Street, in anticipation of light rail. Today’s announcement is sure to attract other high-end, retailers and businesses.
“The City will now start working with the retailers and other businesses in the CBD to make sure they get the most benefit from the project.
“We will of course work closely with the NSW Government and have already committed $180 million towards the project which will be used to widen footpaths, improve lighting, signage, drainage and landscaping and for traffic management and revitalising laneways.”
For more information and to view the City’s animation of light rail on George Street, visit: cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Development/CityImprovements/RoadsAndStreetscapes/Innercitytransformation.asp
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