Light rail will revitalise Newcastle

Source: Australasian Railway Association (ARA) - www.ara.net.au 

24 May 2014

The peak industry body for rail in Australia has commended today’s announcement by the NSW Government confirming the route for the Newcastle Light Rail and cementing the future of the project in the budding city.

CEO of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) Bryan Nye OAM said he was encouraged to see the NSW Government commit to this important public transport project for Newcastle, particularly in light of the Federal Government’s position not to fund any state-based urban or light rail projects.

“I congratulate the NSW Government for continuing to invest in the state’s public transport rail networks and for creating efficiencies within its key growing populated areas like Newcastle,” said Mr Nye.

“I am particularly pleased to see the Baird Government planning to fund the project through the revenue gained from leasing the Port of Newcastle, which is anticipated to provide a benefit to the State of $1.75 billion and free up much needed capital to fund key infrastructure projects such as this.

“I also hope the Federal Government’s $5 billion Asset Recycling Initiative, announced in the 2014-15 Budget, can support the NSW Government with similar projects in the future that will undoubtedly require some extra funding.

The planned light rail route announced today will be a hybrid option that includes the existing heavy urban rail corridor and Hunter Street, servicing the city centre and Newcastle’s stunning beaches.

 “Light rail is the ideal way to revitalise Newcastle, with proven examples of this occurring all over the world,” continued Mr Nye.

“To regenerate East London and connect the district with the City, the Docklands Light Rail Project was constructed in the late 1980’s. Today it is just one example of light rail successfully rejuvenating an area.

“Over the last 30 years, the Docklands Light Rail Project has transformed East London from a region of high unemployment, disconnected from London with low levels of development to a major business and residential center with a population that has almost doubled.

“Light rail has the ability to deliver similar benefits for Newcastle.

“One tram can move 10,000 people in a single lane of traffic that would otherwise move 800 cars or 140 buses. It is also proven to address some of the major issues facing some of our cities today by reducing traffic congestion, decreasing pollution and noise levels and providing greater mobility for people.

“I look forward to the roll out of this transformational project and to further details, regarding funding and timelines, being released in the upcoming NSW Budget released next month,” Mr Nye concluded

 

Contact

Alicia Hewitt | +61 2 6270 4531 | +61 431 631 047 | ahewitt@ara.net.au

 

 

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