Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, inner west 'bus way' opens

Line markings and a concrete bollard mover are the key components of a Sydney style ‘bus way’, opened by NSW Premier Kristina Keneally this week

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, inner west 'bus way' opens
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, inner west ‘bus way’ opens

February 1, 2011

Sydney’s Iron Cove Bridge and Inner West Busway opened this week to a media blitz by NSW Premier Kristina Keneally dogged by controversy over claims the new infrastructure is a bus way in name only.

The bus way is in fact a ‘bus lane’ with road line markings still to be completed, and stretches along a section of Victoria Road which connects inner north-west suburbs with Parramatta and Sydney’s CBD.

Victoria Road carries around 75,000 vehicles each day through Iron Cove and 35,000 passengers on 29 bus routes through Drummoyne and Rozelle.

All non-bus traffic along the route will be controlled and veered away from the bus only lane through the use of a ‘Zipper’ machine which shifts concrete barriers to reduce or increase traffic flow.

Keneally opened the $175 million, 3.5 kilometres Inner West Busway with NSW Roads Minister David Borger on Sunday, which they claim is delivered two months ahead of schedule.

"The Inner West Busway has the potential to save inner west and western Sydney bus commuters up to an hour and a half each week," Keneally says.

She adds there are now 1300 more services a week from inner-western Drummoyne to Sydney’s CBD than there were six months ago.

"This means that commuters from Drummoyne never need to wait more than five minutes for a bus in the morning peak."

Borger says all users will see the benefits of the new bridge, bus lanes and Australia’s first ‘Zipper’ traffic management system.

He says the Zipper will operate on the Inner West Busway to create a dedicated bus lane for morning peak hour traffic.

The moveable barrier system costs $3.5 million which includes about a kilometre of concrete median barriers.

"The Zipper literally shifts concrete barriers from one part of the road to another to create another city bound lane that will be used by buses in the morning peak," Borger says.

The busway became operational on Monday this week for the first time under peak hour conditions.

Borger says the traffic will be monitored closely as the Inner West Busway is brought online.

Iron Cove Bridge, Inner West Busway fast facts:

• The project includes a new 450 metre long and 16.6 metre wide bridge over Iron Cove

• Dedicated bus lanes in peak periods will give priority to public transport and improve the travel times along Victoria Road through Drummoyne and Rozelle

• The NSW Zipper is the only machine of its kind in the world with an added acoustic protection system

• The machine was manufactured in the USA and arrived in Australia in December

• The Zipper weighs more than four tonnes when transferring the barriers

• The concrete barriers weigh around 700 kilos each

• The Zipper’s noise mitigation measures include acoustic lining to the full mid section of the machine, exhaust baffles and additional sealing to all doors on the machine

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