Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Georges River releases historic transport strategy

An ambitious 20-year plan for better transport connections from the Georges River Local Government Area to the rest of metropolitan Sydney has been released.

Over 130 actions for improving and expanding the options of how people get around are identified in Georges River Council’s first ever Transport Strategy.

A brand new cycling network, pedestrian paths, ferry routes and a 24km new rail link between Kogarah and Parramatta via Bankstown are all in the 20-year vision for a well-connected Southern Sydney hub.

Council’s General Manager, Gail Connolly (pictured) said it is important that the transport network was capable of effectively accommodating the forecast increase in population of close to 200,000 by 2036.  

“This is an industry-leading Strategy that will bring long-term benefits to the local economy,” Ms Connolly said.`

“Our streets, footpaths, cycleway, public and waterway transport must evolve for the various ways people are travelling around our city into the future.”

The new Strategy aims to shape an effective transport system for the LGA by maximising the opportunity to:

  1. Integrate long-term transport planning and land-use planning;
  2. Integrate various types of transport systems;
  3. Explore emerging trends in transport and how we adopt these within our LGA;
  4. Move local freight so as to support economic development without compromising urban amenity and the environment;
  5. Improve local traffic access and parking, e.g., through car share schemes; and
  6. Connect key centres to transport and services.

The Transport Strategy 2021, released on Monday revolves around key goals of encouraging public transport, walking and cycling – accounting for 35% of all daily trips, with car rides and other modes making up for the rest.

“We know increased pedestrian and cycling connectivity can deliver significant economic value to local businesses,” said Ms Connolly.

“We aim to encourage more trips by foot and cycling. If it is easier, safer and more comfortable on foot or bike, people will be more likely to visit our top-level retail, café, dining and cultural destinations.” 

Looking at rail linkages, she said, “We are advocating for immediate investment from the NSW Government in River Rail, a proposed 24km rail link connecting Kogarah in Sydney’s south to Parramatta via Bankstown.

“It is the only way that the State Government’s 30-minute city goal can be achieved for Sydney’s south, bringing 100,000 more jobs and estimated $7.5 billion back to our economy.

“An estimated 30,000 more trips by rail could be catered for by the River Rail each day in 2036, relieving congestion and saving around 5,000 hours of travel time daily, worth a potential $700 million over 30 years.

“We will also look into the feasibility of utilising our geo-advantage near the Georges River to provide recreational and transport opportunities by ferries.”

The Strategy also encourages car share proposals for larger residential and commercial developments within a 800m catchment of a transport node that is serviced by a strategic bus corridor.

Other key advocacies include travel time, frequency and efficiency, reduction on the cost of public transport, timetable change, introducing additional bus services, including on-demand routes, review street trees and canopy cover to improve shade for pedestrians and reduce the urban heat island effect. 

For full details of the Georges River Council’s Transport Strategy 2021, visit the Council Plans and Strategies page.

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