Last night, Feb 24, 2009, in the auditorium of the Castle Grand, the Mayor of Baulkham Hills, Clr Larry Bolitho, told us an amazing story about the efforts to get the North West Railway built.
He told us that the first stage of the line, the line to Carlingford, was completed in 1901. The second stage of the plan was to extend the line to Castle Hill. According to the Mayor, in 1926, the local Progress Association was formed with 6 objectives, the first of which was to advocate for the implementation of Stage 2.
Apparently the Progress Association was wound up in 2006, 80 years later, with 5 of their 6 objectives fulfilled, and we know which one wasn't. No wonder the people in the North West are dispirited about the broken pledges that have been made to them.
It was plain from the wonderful speakers at this meeting, Professor Peter Newman and Dr Garry Glazebrook, that providing some sort of high capacity mass transit system to the North West is an environmental, moral and economic imperitive. AND it is very achievable.
Professor Newman was able to provide lots of international evidence to show that his concepts of Transit Oriented Development, Pedestrian Oriented Development and Green Oriented Development (TOD, POD, GOD) provide economic and social benefits as well as being part of a movement to reduce greenhouse gasses. See here for more information about Professor Newman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Newman_(Australian
Dr Garry Glazebrook provided a plan to show how it is possible to create a plan which will satisfy the needs of the people in the North West of Sydney as well as the rest of Sydney within reasonable budget limits. He believes that it is the building of a social consensus, a commitment from the people, to the development of a sustainable transport plan is what is missing from the political debate. That is why the various plans are created and then abandoned. See here for more information about Dr Garry Glazebrook http://datasearch.uts.edu.au/dab/staff/built-environment/details.cfm?StaffId=2181
This blogspot website, and the work we are doing to establish a public transport users association for Western Sydney is to try to make a contribution to solving this problem. Hopefully it won't take us 80 years to achieve (or to have to give in).
If you want to join us in advocating for the needs of public transport users in Western Sydney contact Hugh Worrall or Paul Falzon at Western Sydney Community Forum on 02 9633 5068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or simply comment on this blog, do our survey and leave your email address and we will contact you.
Congratulations to Radio 2CCR for organising this Forum www.2ccrfm.com/