Submission to the Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study October 2016
There are many challenges for the Rail Needs Scoping Study. It needs to identify and commit to actions that establish transport connectivity that will boost the economy, generate employment opportunities and enhance liveability in the South West.
Critical to this is linking current and designated growth centres to existing and future nodes of economic activity, creating a ”30 minute city”, directly linking existing and future areas of economic activity with strategic centres such as Campbelltown-Macarthur, the Western Sydney Airport and the Broader Western Sydney Employment Area, and providing a more efficient link from the South West Growth Corridor to the Parramatta CBD.
Preferred Rail Options: Option 6 and Option 1
The North South rail connection extending into Campbelltown LGA via the South West Rail Link extension via Narellan would demonstrate significant benefits: delivery of more jobs closer to homes and services, increased public transport use and a reduction of traffic congestion and would support cleaner air, green spaces, sporting facilities and arts and cultural initiatives.
Connecting Western Sydney to Western Sydney Airport
In terms of rail access from the Sydney CBD to the Western Sydney Airport, analysis shows that passenger demand for the Western Sydney Airport would come from Western Sydney in the early years and that airport demand would increase from 2,750 users per day when the airport opens to 43,000 per day within 40 years.
The airport development is expected to create 35,000 jobs by 2035 increasing to 60,000 over time. For every million passengers that pass through the airport the airport is anticipated to add 750 jobs in the region. The current and future residents of Macarthur are well placed to take advantage of these jobs if given early provision of a rail service.
The connection of South West Sydney to the Western Sydney Airport will allow Macarthur residents to fill the construction and engineering positions that will be available during the construction stage of the airport’s development.
The early provision of Options 6 and 1 (inclusive of a connection to the Greater Macarthur Priority Growth Area) to service the Western Sydney Airport in advance of any other rail option will provide Government with the most return on investment.
The extension of Option 6 connecting to Rouse Hill and the North West Growth Centre is also supported once the above Options have been established.
A high speed train link will eventually be needed to link the Western Sydney Airport with the Sydney CBD but not until the predicted time that the Western Sydney Airport overtakes Kingsford Smith as Sydney’s primary international gateway.
Strategic, direct and efficient connectivity between the regional city centres of Campbelltown-Macarthur, Penrith and Liverpool with the ”Western Sydney Aerotropolis City” will drive Greater Western Sydney’s economic growth and redress the history of CBD and Parramatta centric transport solutions. This previous transport planning has disadvantaged Macarthur, limiting access to higher order services and facilities.
Table 2 on page 20 of the Discussion Paper details the five stages of Sydney’s rail future.
MACROC is concerned that there is no reference to:
• South West access to a rapid transit system;
There are pockets of disadvantage in Macarthur characterised by a high level of unemployment. Improved rail connections to the Western Sydney Airport and beyond would provide access to a wide range of employment and service opportunities, and in-turn improved health and social outcomes.
Research indicates that inadequate access to transportation poses significant barriers to those trying to enter the labour market. Existing public transportation systems often do little to bridge the gap between where the poor live and where jobs are located. An investment in the north-south rail link connecting the employment nodes will support accessibility, connecting the disadvantaged to employment opportunities, education and health services as well as recreational facilities.
It is noted that the Wollondilly Local Government Area is not included on the rail service options maps in the Discussion Paper. This is a serious oversight as there is significant population growth proposed for Wilton, which has been designated a Priority Growth Precinct earmarked to cater for 16,000 new dwellings over the next 20 years. There is an urgent need to improve rail services. An additional station at Maldon, a rail spur line to the proposed Wilton Town Centre and future electrification are all seen as necessary. The completion of the Maldon-Dombarton rail corridor would provide significant benefit to the freight network.
Proximity to the employment opportunities offered by the Western Sydney Airport and the Broader Western Sydney Employment Area will also mean that there will be significant changes in the travel to work patterns in Wollondilly Shire which will impact on local infrastructure in Wollondilly. These connection issues will need to be addressed in the updated Long Term Transport Master Plan, due to be released later this year.
In view of the current lack of residential development within the South West Priority Growth Area between Leppington and Oran Park there is an urgent need here to progress corridor preservation for an above ground route.
The corridor preservation between Oran Park and Narellan should also be determined urgently on the basis of an underground solution where current residential development exists or is in final planning stages.
Transport for NSW has consulted widely on the extension of the South West Rail Link, including the possibility to connect rail from Narellan to Campbelltown-Macarthur. There is an opportunity now within Campbelltown LGA to plan for and secure corridors for the South West Rail Link extension and an opportunity for Government to work with Campbelltown City Council to coordinate land use planning that could facilitate connections before future urban development proceeds. This critical corridor needs to be supported by Government.
Given the significance and wide ranging implications of planning for the rail needs of Western Sydney MACROC considers that Transport for NSW and the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development should adopt an ongoing commitment to engage with Local Government, key stakeholders and the community, particularly in the area of corridor preservation. This would ensure that any future rail corridors minimise impacts as much as possible.
File: Submission to the Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study October 2016
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