8 Mar / 2019

Light Rail Stage II gets go ahead

Ben Morton MP, the Chair of the Standing Committee said he was surprised that the ACT Government was proposing a light rail service that was slower than the existing bus service. Nevertheless planning is proceeding after a decision by Standing Committee. See CT

Then on 12 March, Federal Labor announced $200m to support the project. CT

The route on Adelaide Avenue needs closest attention by DRA.

The latest the maps from the Canberra Times show light rail not in the middle of Adelaide Avenue but descending to Hopetoun Circuit then rising on the other side. The Hopetoun / Adelaide intersection is already dangerous and complex, especially at school drop off times, let alone when the proposed Aged Care facility is built. Its hard to imagine how light rail travelling in both directions can be accommodated on ramps with cars travelling in one direction. Are traffic lights planned?

Equally problematic is how does light rail can pass in both directions between State Circle and Adelaide Ave in front of the Lodge. What are the implications for the bike lanes? Are more traffic lights envisaged

Then what happens at Novar /Kent St intersection with Adelaide Ave. How does light rail fit with plans for an interchange to pass traffic to the Molonglo?

Perhaps the option to avoid light rail disrupting traffic flows is the laying tracks down the middle of Adelaide Avenue, (or the exiting bus lanes) but that means the route via Capital Circle, not State Circle, with even less chance of it being used.

These matters need to be incorporated in a thorough cost benefit analysis is needed that considers these issues before Stage II proceeds.

DRA also believes light rail must be part of an integrated transport plan that follows agreement on the extent of proposed infill along the route such as the Deakin Mint ovals and Curtin horse paddocks.

DRA remains concerned about the impact of light rail on the heritage values of the Parliamentary Triangle and the Lake. We note Jack Kershaw’s option of another lake bridge along lines of Burley Griffin’s original proposal.