Buses for bureaucrats

The ACT government will spend $9.7 million on public transport around the Parliamentary triangle

Buses for bureaucrats
Buses for bureaucrats

July 15, 2013

The Australian Capital Territory government will spend $9.7 million on improving public transport infrastructure around Canberra’s iconic parliamentary triangle.

The recent announcement has been criticised by Canberra’s media as being a cynical exercise to provide bus services to public servants who don’t want to pay for parking in the Parliamentary triangle precinct, starting in July 2014.

Work has now commenced on the construction of a dedicated bus lane on an 800-metre section of Canberra Avenue between Hindmarsh Drive and the Monaro Highway.

The ACT’s Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury says the project will reduce bus travel times, especially for people travelling to Barton, and especially during peak periods.

"The Canberra Avenue Bus Lane will assist cross-border transport and hopefully encourage more Queanbeyan-Canberra commuters to make use of buses, helping to reduce congestion and parking pressures," he says.

"Walkers and cyclists using Canberra Avenue will benefit from a new shared path on Canberra Avenue, enhanced lighting, additional footpaths, as well as a new signalised pedestrian crossing on Geelong Street."

Rattenbury says work has also commenced on the construction of a number of new bus stop facilities in Barton and Parkes.

A new Barton bus station is being constructed on National Circuit to support bus services through the busy Parliamentary Zone, and two new bus stops are being constructed on Kings Avenue to support the increased services at the new Barton bus station.

The project will also upgrade four existing bus stops on Kings Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue to include more seating and space for future electronic 'real-time bus information' displays.

"During peak time in Barton, buses arrive every few minutes, making these stops busy commuter points for people working and visiting the area," says Rattenbury.

The upgrade will also expand the stops to allow multiple buses to stop at the one time.

"These are significant projects that will provide Canberrans with better sustainable transport options, reduce traffic congestion on our roads, and help grow Canberra into a leading public transport city," Rattenbury says.

"The priority bus lane and the new Barton station and stops should all be completed prior to the introduction of paid parking to the Parliamentary Triangle in July next year.

The Parkes and Barton bus stop upgrades are expected to be complete by October 2013, while the Canberra Avenue works are expected to be complete by mid-2014.

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