The NSW government has released the South East Sydney Transport Strategy and included in the preferred scenario two new metro lines to be built by 2041 and 2056.
The Strategy outlines how Transport for NSW expects to respond to growing population in South East Sydney, an area of the city stretching from Redfern to La Perouse and to Rockdale.
The first metro line would extend from the CBD to Green Square, and Randwick and terminate at La Perouse. The second would begin at Randwick and travel to Kogarah via Sydney Airport.
The CBD to La Perouse metro line would be an extension of Sydney Metro West, and is the first Metro line to be completed, in 2041.
Metro between Randwick and Kogarah would be delivered by 2056 and would extend beyond Kogarah to Miranda.
In addition to the new metro lines, a rapid bus network would link the south east. A Transport for NSW spokesperson said that the combination was preferred over light rail options.
“After considerable consultation with Councils and other key stakeholders, two new Metro lines were considered to be the most effective means to provide for the transport needs of South East Sydney into the coming decades. Light Rail was considered, but a Rapid Bus and Metro combination allowed for better outcomes in terms of delivery and connectivity.”
The Strategy also assumes that metro will connect Hurstville and Macquarie Park and Kogarah and Norwest.
The Strategy acknowledges that current transport infrastructure in the region is not meeting the needs of the population.
Stations on the Airport Line, the only heavy rail line that runs through the region, reach capacity by 7.15am. With three in six trains arriving over capacity and four in six trains departing over capacity between 7.45 and 8.45am. With further development forecast along the line there is a need for greater capacity.
“Transport for NSW recognises that as South East Sydney continues to grow over the coming 30 years, new lines will be needed to support existing infrastructure,” said the Transport for NSW spokesperson.
The Strategy also covers the Port Botany area and while not recommending further rail to the port beyond the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication project, does set out as an objective that Port Botany has “easy access by all modes to local commercial, industrial and employment precincts.” The Strategy however does not include passenger rail to Port Botany, only recommending that Port Botany be connected via bus and private vehicle to the rest of Sydney.
The Strategy marks a shift in transport planning for the South East region of Sydney. Instead of taking a “predict and provide” approach, the Strategy identifies a vision for the region and then indicates the proposed transport infrastructure. As written in the Strategy:
“This approach recognises that continuing to accept current mode share, and in particular high levels of private car use, is not going to realise the vision, rather it will lead to increased road congestion and reduced accessibility for local residents, workers and visitors.”