Hills Council suggests transport solutions 

HILLS Council is pushing for a better connection to Sydney for its residents in a submission to the state government.

In its response to the state government's Long Term Transport Master Plan, the council recommended solutions such as investigating moving airlines to Richmond as a low-cost carrier airport, integrating bus commuter parking in areas like Carlingford, and creating a 'rail ring road' around western Sydney.

Mayor Michelle Byrne said planning for future transport corridors, managing Sydney's growth and enhancing residents' quality of life were considered in the submission.

"If Sydney is to be considered a global city, it needs transport solutions that stand up to global scrutiny," Cr Byrne said.

"It is widely recognised that Sydney is a long way behind international best practice for a first-world city in terms of transport."

The council's recommendations consider the impacts of planning for growth both locally and Sydney-wide in terms of road, rail, bus networks and air transport needs.

"It is much easier to reserve land now for future roads and rail, rather than try to retrofit transport once communities are built," Cr Byrne said.

Cr Byrne said those responsible for the Long Term Transport Master Plan must find innovative solutions to deliver the best outcomes for Sydney.

“Delivering an ideal transport plan for Sydney will require a visionary approach in order to reposition Sydney as a world-class, well designed city, that is easy to get around,” she said. 

‘‘The council believes our recommendations will go a long way towards delivering the north west’s solution to Sydney’s transport infrastructure puzzle.” 

Key recommendations from the council’s submission are: 

Rail 

·         Immediate corridor protection for an extension of the North West Rail Link to Vineyard via Box Hill.

·         Development of the Parramatta to Epping heavy rail link as a medium term priority.

·         Carlingford line passing loop as a short term priority. 

Roads 

         Planning and corridor preservation of the M7 Motorway and F3 Freeway as a short term priority.

·         The NSW Transport Master Plan apply the recommendations of Infrastructure NSW and focus motorway tolling on new roads and existing roads only as they are upgraded.

Buses

·         Further details be incorporated into the Long Term Transport Master Plan on the proposed bus service improvement actions as they relate to connectivity across the Hills Shire.

·         A strategic approach to identifying and funding appropriate bus commuter car parking is required.

·         Further details being provided on the planning and implementation of supporting infrastructure to the future bus network, such as commuter parking areas.

Aviation

·         Council continues to support investigations into the expanded use of Richmond airport for domestic services.

View the full submission: www.thehills.nsw.gov.au and check the ‘Highlights’ section. 

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