Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Adding to Sydney's gridlock

The PM has offered at least a billion dollars towards the WestConnex motorway subject to three conditions. One is that it runs direct to Sydney CBD.

What a very stupid plan! That has to be twenty years behind the times.

Go to any European city and see how they've been destroyed by cars. The extra roads, the ugly signage all over the place, the noise, pollution, parking.

What we have to do is keep vehicles out of cities and the only way to do that is to provide a viable alternative. That means good, efficient public transport, which is where the money needs to be invested.

The problem now is that we have old, outdated, inefficient and slow public transport 'serving' Sydney. I include taxis in that.

My own experience of commuting into the CBD is that in spite of the overcrowded roads, commuting by car is by far the most efficient and the fastest.

I've tried trains but there are too many problems with them. They're incredibly slow. They're overcrowded and uncomfortable. Too many of them are way beyond their use-by date.

There's also the problem of lack of parking at the stations.  If you can't drive to and park at a station you have to take a bus. That adds a huge amount of time to the journey because they travel a circuitous route before they get to the station.

From a previous house a commute that took one hour by car took two and a half by public transport.

From where I am now on the Central Coast I can be in the CBD in less than one and a half hours by car. By public transport I get an uncomfortable journey that takes an hour longer even if I catch an 'express' train.

So like thousands of other people I drive, because the alternative is unacceptable.

Travelling is such an important part of the economy that we have to get it sorted out. That means investment in efficient, fast public transport into and around the city.

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