Friday 20th Sep, 2019

ACT approves Stage 2A of light rail

Photo: ACT Government

The ACT Government will proceed with Stage 2A of its Light Rail program despite an estimated direct public benefit of between 40 and 60 cents per dollar invested.

The 1.7-kilometre extension to the existing light rail line in Canberra will bring it further south, through the west of the CBD and a new terminus near Lake Burley Griffin, at Commonwealth Park.

The proposed Stage 2A was approved by the ACT Government on September 10.

“The first stage of light rail has been an overwhelming success and we’re now getting on with the job of building a North-South light rail line, to extend the benefits to other parts of our city,” transport minister Chris Steel said.

“By beginning work on Stage 2A, we are keeping the knowledge and skills from the successful delivery of stage 1 in Canberra while we continue to work on the approvals through the Parliamentary Triangle to Woden.”

Limiting the next phase of light rail to “Stage 2A” rather than the full proposal for “Stage 2” to Woden, south of the city, is a compromise made by the ACT Government as a result of resistance from the Commonwealth over the alignment of the route through the federally-controlled land around Parliament House.

The new 2A extension will add three more stops, and will command four new light rail vehicles. The planned City West stop, near the Australian National University, is expected to become one of the network’s most popular the day it is opened.

“The Stage 2A route through London Circuit West and Commonwealth Avenue provides access to residential areas, business precincts, the ANU, the Canberra Visitors Centre, entertainment and retail areas, through to the designated transport corridor to Woden,” Steel said.

The Stage 2A project will commence as soon as possible once necessary approvals from the Commonwealth are received, Steel said.

Meanwhile, ACT chief minister Andrew Barr reported that Prime Minister Scott Morrison given him a positive indication for the range of approvals that will have to be endured by Stage 2B of the project, which will eventually extend the line over the Lake and south to Woden.

Barr, according to Fairfax, said this week he had received “firm assurances” from Morrison for the project.

“I welcomed the prime minister’s positive comments reaffirming his support for the timely approvals of stage two of light rail in Canberra,” Barr said. “This endorsement is encouraging, and it will certainly help the ACT meet the project delivery timeframes and create more jobs in the Territory.”

Send this to friend