New South Australian transport minister Stephan Knoll says Adelaide’s City Tram Extension will open on Sunday, July 29, months after the incoming Liberal Government inherited a project that was “nowhere near finished”.
Knoll on July 12 said the Marshall Government was happy to cement an opening date for the one-kilometre project, which extends the Glenelg Line along North Terrace, from King William Street to East Terrace.
“The new State Government inherited this problem plagued project from Labor and we, like so many South Australians, have been frustrated by the continual issues that have arisen,” Knoll said.
“Labor threw $10 million at this project to get passenger services running before the election. When we inherited this project after the March election it was nowhere near finished.
“We want to know how Labor managed to make $10 million of taxpayers’ money disappear.”
The $80 million City Tram Extension project was launched by Labor as the first stage of the ambitious AdeLINK light rail program, and also includes the addition of three new trams to the Glenelg Line, which is currently the city’s only tram line.
The AdeLINK program, which the new Liberal Government does not support, was to include the future addition of several more lines, some of which were to be facilitated by the new extension.
Knoll said the July 29 opening date would be welcome news for many South Australians.
“We’re in the final stages of this project with driver training to begin this coming Monday 16 July, which will last for 10 days before passenger services commence,” he said.
Knoll said the extension would play a big role in the Marshall Government’s vision to transform the old Royal Adelaide Hospital (oRAH) site into a job creation, education and cultural precinct.
“Once we’ve delivered our full vision for the oRAH site there will be thousands of people passing through the site every day who will benefit from these free tram services along North Terrace,” he said.
“I think all South Australians, particularly those with interests in the City’s East End, will be very relieved that this project will finally be completed.”
The Government said very minor works will be undertaken throughout July, such as paving footpaths, asphalt works at the North Terrace and King William Street intersection and other minor finishing works – but said these won’t affect the commencement of passenger services.
Knoll said that once passenger services commenced, the Marshall Government would review the “botched” project.