Engineering, Environment and Sustainability, Passenger Rail

Greens welcome plan for Surry Hills light rail stop

State member for Newtown and Greens MP Jenny Leong says the future-proofing of Sydney’s CBD and South East Light Rail project for a stop to be built in Surry Hills is a win for the local community.

CBD coordinator general Marg Prendergast recently announced plans to move power lines underground in Surry Hills and future proof a possible light rail stop at Wimbo Park as part of construction set to begin in the area on September 2.

Prendergast said the overall scope of the Surry Hills work included a significant upgrade of the Devonshire Street corridor.

“We’ve developed a number of plans for local improvements that will benefit the Surry Hills area for years to come, from putting the existing powerlines underground to great new ‘pocket parks’ flanking Devonshire Street,” Prendergast said.

While light rail planners opted for the cheaper catenary power supply option (i.e. overhead wires) down Devonshire Street, Prendergast said moving the existing suburban power lines underground will help de-clutter the street.

She added: “Sections of the community continue to call for a second Surry Hills stop on the new light rail network, and while our planning work didn’t identify demand for a stop at Wimbo Park, off Bourke Street, we have listened and will do the groundwork to ensure any further addition of a stop there is not prohibitively expensive or disruptive.”

The Greens are convinced the stop will be needed sooner rather than later with a high demand for better public transport accessibility in the area.

“If the Government recognises there’ll be a need for the stop in the future, why not minimise disruption and cost and deliver it now?” Leong asked on August 24.

“Along the rest of the route, a station has been planned at the top and bottom of every hill – but not in Surry Hills.

“Building a second stop at Wimbo Park now will fix this anomaly and improve accessibility for locals, particularly the elderly, parents with prams and anyone with a mobility issue.”

Elsewhere on the future light rail route, the transfer of materials excavated from the CBD and Moore Park has almost all been moved to the site of the new Lilyfield maintenance depot, where the ground level must be raised to ensure the depot is above the flood zone.

Construction of buildings at the depot – which will still remain within 10.5 metres of the original ground level – will begin in October.