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Parramatta Road plan kicks buses to the kerb

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Artist Impression of Parramatta Road Light Rail
Artist Impression of Parramatta Road Light Rail

SMH: Parramatta Road plan kicks buses to the kerb Jacob Saulwick August 23, 2012

Trams would be returned to Parramatta Road, running from Broadway as far west as Strathfield under a proposal from a public transport advocacy group.

The proposal, from EcoTransit, comes amid renewed interest in transport options for the inner west, with the state government also set to consider motorway options for the struggling arterial corridor.

EcoTransit, which will distribute a brochure promoting the idea before next month’s council elections, argued two lanes of general traffic should be removed on Parramatta Road for two kerbside lanes of light rail.

Trams would carry more people than use the two traffic lanes, the group said, and buses could also be removed from the notoriously congested stretch.

”By building a series of park-and-ride stations between the end of the M4 at Strathfield, and Leichhardt, where motorists would transfer to a fast light rail service, the EcoTransit scheme would remove at least half the car commuters on Parramatta Road and free it up for traffic that really does need to use it,” the convener of EcoTransit, Gavin Gatenby, said. ”As light rail was rolled out, trams down Parramatta Road would progressively replace unnecessary bus duplication along Parramatta Road.

”Feeder bus coverage could be widened and bus service frequencies doubled.”

EcoTransit’s scheme is the latest in a series of interventions aimed at revitalising Parramatta Road, which is clogged with traffic and where retail outlets have tended to struggle.

The government has already committed to investigating light rail from the city as far as Sydney University.

And the NRMA has also proposed that Parramatta Road be converted to a light rail boulevard, but only if an M4 East motorway was built in an adjacent tunnel.

The government will receive the State Infrastructure Strategy next month from its advisers at Infrastructure NSW, who are set to recommend an M4 East motorway be constructed, in part, by digging under Parramatta Road.