Friday, December 16, 2011

Will The North West Rail Link Be Operated By The Private Sector?

The Hills Transport Working Group have made a media release regarding the privatisation of the North West Rail Link. Here's an excerpt:

The Hills Transport Working Group today issued a ‘please explain’ to the NSW Minister for Transport, Ms Gladys Berejiklian, after a leaked internal memo from Mr. Rob Mason the CEO of RailCorp reveals that “a private sector entity will design, construct, commission, operate and maintain the North West rail link including rail and tunnel systems, track, structures and stations for a period of 20 to 30 years” under an “access model”.

The Hills Transport Working Group has previously warned that an airport link-style private operator and station access model on the North West Rail Link could see North West residents paying as much as $20 extra per trip.

For the full release click here.

Restoration of Heritage Ferries - Volunteers Needed

Read how a Mount Druitt volunteers spends his time restoring ships, ferries - you may want to volunteer if you have time!

Here is the story:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WSPTU Steering Committee Supports Parramatta Sydney Light Rail/Metro Network

In a day of age where nothing seems possible - all of a sudden something could be possible whether it is in my lifetime or afterwards. This could take generations to implement - yet if it happens I know, as members of the WSPTU Steering Committee have supported an improved transport infrastructure that meets transport corridors that need to be properly linked. We that represent 14 LGA's of commuters that in looking to the futue will make life easier and better for others, as well as possible tourist attraction for moving peiople around, to common places.

So we do support this transport proposal improvement submitted by Parramatta City Council for  Light Rail/Metro Network catering for future of public transport.

7 December 2011

Parramatta City Council has raised the prospect of a Western Sydney light rail/metro network to service the transport needs of one of Australia’s fastest growing regions – Western Sydney.  
Council strongly believes that a light rail system, which is fully or heavily segregated from road traffic and pedestrians, unlike Melbourne’s tram system, would improve people’s access to heavy rail and jobs. It also has the potential to provide a fast, regular, clean public transport model for other centres as they grow.
Our preferred plan would see this light rail network focussed on a link to Castle Hill, utilising the Carlingford line and connecting to Macquarie Park.
This ‘north-south’ link would basically connect commuters in the Hills right through to Bankstown, with Parramatta being the central stop. The proposal would improve access to employment in Westmead, Parramatta CBD, Macquarie Park and the ‘Global Arc’ with links to the University of Western Sydney and Macquarie University.
It would also go a long way towards relieving congestion on our already over-burdened City services heavy rail network and main roads.
This plan, along with a proposal aimed at improving traffic flow around Parramatta, through a series of intersection upgrades along the M4, James Ruse Drive and Cumberland Highway, was outlined to Infrastructure NSW recently, and I’m confident that along with the State and Federal governments, we can work collaboratively to ensure our City is well-positioned to support NSW’s ‘engine room’ – Western Sydney.

Click for a further details from Parramatta CIty Council Re- Proposed Western Sydney Light Rail

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Updates for the North West Rail Link

There is news in the mainstream media today about plans for the North West Rail Link, especially about the plan to create a 'sky train'. You can read all the details at their website

Wrong Report About Rail Crime Stats

This media release is from the Bureau of Crime Statistics. Media release date: 13 December 2011.

Claims last night by Channel Nine that up to 10 per cent of reports of crime on the rail system are simply ‘disappearing’ are completely false, the Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research said today.

“Police are fully entitled to reject a reported crime if they have reason to believe the report is not genuine (e.g. CCTV footage shows the alleged incident did not take place).”

“The Bureau conducts regular audits of all NSW Police crime data, looking for any evidence that police are improperly rejecting crimes reported to them. The results of these audits are always made public. Click here for the most recent audit findings and our audit processes.

“When Channel Nine’s Kelvin Bissett contacted the Bureau seeking information on crimes on the rail system rejected by police, he was provided with data showing that the overall rejection rate for crimes reported on the rail system was just 3.3 percent.”

“The rejection rate for sexual assault was much higher (15 per cent) but the numbers were quite small; three reports being rejected out of a total of 20 for the entire year.”

“Channel Nine ignored all this and proceeded to make completely unfounded
allegations to the effect that records of crime on the rail system reported to police were being hidden or destroyed.”

“There was and is no evidence that police have been hiding or destroying reports of crime to make the problem of crime on the rail system appear less serious than it is. The story on rail violence by Channel Nine was an example of tabloid journalism at its worst.”

Don Weatherburn

Friday, December 9, 2011

Local Success - Return of Bus in North St Marys

Some local people in North St Marys have worked hard to convince planners and transport providers that they needed an additional service in North St Marys to ensure they were getting adequate access to their local buses. It is a big win for local people who were having trouble using the buses after the changes brought by the bus network review a couple of years ago.
"We've had a letter box drop telling us that we're going to get a bus back commencing 21 December along the same route as before.It'll be the 782E," says local campaigner Patricia Guy.
Click here for the full story.

People Prefer Regular Rail Investment Rather Than High-Speed Rail

The latest TOPS survey by ITLS shows us that people prefer the idea of investing in regular urban rail infrastructure rather than expanding into high-speed rail projects.
See the survey here.

Auditor's Report on Transport for 2011

The NSW Office of Audit has done an audit of various aspects of Transport in NSW including Railcorp and State Transit. There are a number of interesting recommendations in the report. Click here for the full story.

One interesting observation is that the Rail Clearways project is 5 years overdue and $700m over budget. This relates to the current Parliamentary Inquiry into rail infrastucture project costings: See here for info about the inquiry.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Transport Masterplan and Consultations

Here is an excerpt from the recent media release from the Ministers:
Transport planning forums will be held across NSW to ensure customers, businesses and other organisations can have their say on the future of transport in NSW. Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay today announced the development of a Long Term Transport Master Plan which will involve unprecedented collaboration with those whose livelihood depends on the quality of the transport network - customers.

They confirmed 10 regions outside of Sydney will each host at least one forum where key stakeholders will be consulted by Transport for NSW as part of the 12-month process to develop a NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan.

Consultations will also be held in Sydney.

The forums will be held after the release of a discussion paper in February and the feedback gained will be used to inform development of a draft NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan.

Local groups involved with the WSPTU will be interested to find out more about those consultations.

You can find the full release here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

North West Rail Link - Updates

There has been some public discussions this week about the North West Rail Link after the Chairman of Infrastructure NSW, Nick Greiner, suggested that maybe the project should be a privately funded project. Click here for the story in the SMH

The local newspaper, The Hills News, then ran local vox-pops (asking people on the street) what they thought of this idea. Click here to see what they said.

The Sydney Business Park development manager Owen Walsh was then quoted by the Hills Shire Times as advocating for the North West Rail Link to be extended out through Schofields to the new Marsden Park industrial development near Mt Druitt (part of the North West Growth Centre). He also suggested the line could then join into the Western Line via Dunheaved and St Marys using the existing old trainline corridor. See that story here.