Operator welcomes Sydney strategy

Leading NSW bus industry identities cautiously welcome Sydney strategy

Operator welcomes Sydney strategy
Operator welcomes Sydney strategy

By Amie Hickland | September 13, 2013

An operator has welcomed a document which aims to reduce congestion in Sydney’s CBD although there is concern major links have been excluded.

The Sydney City Centre Access Strategy was released this week by the NSW Government, and is open for public comment until October 25.

In a joint message, NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay MLC say implementing the strategy will mean a shift to a greater proportion of people using public transport to access the city centre.

"It builds on work already underway to modernise and expand the capacity of the rail network, extend light rail corridors, redesign the bus system and provide more ferry services," they say.

On average, more than 630,000 trips are made to the centre each weekday and this is expected to grow to 775,000 trips over the next 20 years.

Initiatives in the strategy include improvements to late night access to public transport and taxis, bus systems in the city centre and real time customer information.

BusNSW Chair of the Coach Branch Karim Hussain says he welcomes the document as it shows the bus movement in the CBD is being taken seriously.

"I think it certainly does a reasonable job of delving into the requirements of commuters."

Hussain, of Blue Mountains Bus Company, says he is concerned at the lack of bus links with Eddy Avenue central station and the airport.

"Is there another stage of this strategy that’s going to deal with access to the airport?"

BusNSW Executive Director Darryl Mellish also welcomes the announcement.

"Prioritising bus services along central routes in the city, building new shelters, introducing better signage and the provision of real time information will inevitably benefit passengers and promote the use of public transport," he says.

"However, BusNSW urge the NSW Government to consult with industry on the implementation of these initiatives to ensure all impacts are considered and improvements for customers can be achieved."

Mellish says it is "critical" the government recognises the major role coaches play in the CBD.

He is still waiting on the release of Sydney’s Bus Future plan which he understands will detail the significant role of buses in the transport network.

To have your say go to: www.transportmasterplan.nsw.govt.au

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