IMAGE: The ACT Government has unveiled its “strategic vision” for seven light rail lines, including the committed Capital Metro Stage 1, for the nation’s capital.
Chief minister Andrew Barr, planning minister Mick Gentleman, and minister assisting the chief minister on transport reform Shane Rattenbury on Monday opened the new light rail plan for public consultation.
The designed network features the stage one light rail line, from Gungahlin to the city centre, along with six more proposed future routes for light rail, which will link to stage one.
“To manage Canberra’s growth, reduce congestion and protect our liveability we need to improve our public transport system,” Chief Minister Barr said.
“Light rail prepares us for our city’s growth, drives economic development and will integrate with buses and other modes of transport to make our city easier to get around.
“This network shows how light rail will be extended across our city in the future.”
After stage one, the next-highest-priority line currently outlined is for the Parliamentary Triangle – formed by Commonwealth, Kings and Constitution Avenues – in the centre of the city.
Another priority line would link the Woden Valley in the south-west to the other priority lines in the city centre.
The final line outlined as high priority is called ‘eastern connections’, and would link the network to Fyshwick and the Airport in the east.
Graphic: Transport for ACT (click to enlarge)
Gentleman said the government was now turning to the community, for their views on where future stages should go and how the government can best integrate a public transport system with current infrastructure.
“The ACT Government is planning for Canberra’s transition into a significant world city through building on current foundations and opportunities to maintain the position of the world’s most liveable city, with a fully integrated transport network,” Gentleman said.
“The public consultation for the draft light rail network is an opportunity for the community to have their say on the future proposed corridors as this document will work for to direct the long term strategy and vision for Canberra’s light rail network.”
Rattenbury has also highlighted the positive impacts to be created.
“The release of the Light Rail Network opens the light rail discussion to all Canberrans and will help outline the bigger picture for public transport across the entire city. This is a project for the future of Canberra that will help us to find real and long term solutions for the issues that trouble us today like pollution, congestion and peak oil,” he said.
New Australasian Railway Association chief executive Danny Broad welcomed the news.
“It is clear through the Light Rail Master Plan that the ACT Government has an ambitious vision for the future of Canberra,” he said.
“Canberra is set for further expansion over the coming decades, the transport needs for a city of 500,000 people is vastly different to that of 300,000, leaving the city’s car dependency unviable for a modern, sustainable city.
“Now is the time to start planning this major infrastructure project and look at how the rail network will integrate with the existing bus network.
“Continuing to plan ahead, and invest in Canberra’s transport infrastructure is crucial in order to effectively serve the needs of Canberra and its growing population.”
Public consultation is open until December 11.
The full report is available here: http://haveyoursay.planning.act.gov.au/Light-rail-network/documents