The SHOROC councils have welcomed the much-anticipated arrival of the NSW Government’s Northern Beaches Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) pre-feasibility report and called on the NSW Government to take the next step and commit the funds to construct and implement the best solutions for the region.
“We’re pleased to see that the Government reports says several options for a BRT are feasible for our region and is consulting councils and the community on the options,” said Jean Hay, Manly Mayor and SHOROC President.
“But I’ll add that with both the Warringah Road and Pittwater/Military Rd corridors choked with traffic and crying out for transport improvements it is critical that the Government now takes the next step and proceeds to more detailed planning and commits to building the best solutions for both these corridors and the region as a matter of priority.”
The BRT pre-feasibility study was led by an expert team who conducted significant analysis of the region and possible solutions, including considering SHOROC’s proposed transport infrastructure solutions outlined in its 2010 Shaping Our Future strategy. The BRT pre-feasibility study report outlines options from upgrading existing kerbside bus lanes, to segregated median or kerb-side BRT lanes, to a tunnel under Military Road.
Mrre detail on the options can be found here: Manly Daily Reports :: Six-lane Spit Bridge for BRT
In considering options for the Pittwater/Spit/Military Road corridor, SHOROC’s comments include:
- “While the report states that several options are feasible, SHOROC considers the best options are either a segregated BRT down the middle of the road or a tunnel under Military Road.”
- “A tunnel is an option presented by the Government which delivers the most time savings but also comes with the highest costs. If the Government decides the best option is to build a bus or a bus/car tunnel for the BRT, allocates the funds to start construction in the coming years, and the community is behind its construction, then SHOROC will be fully supportive.”
- “However the on-road BRT option proposed by SHOROC is less costly to implement so if the funds are not available for a tunnel then the NSW Government should as a priority construct a BRT with a peak hour co-located median bus lane and more seriously consider tidal flow for the BRT to reduce traffic impacts.”
- “A staged approach may be warranted with the implementation of a BRT in the current road corridor in the short term with bus priority in the peak periods in the first instance, followed by construction of a tunnel in the longer term.”
- “It is important that whatever option is chosen is practical, achievable and actually going to be implemented so the region is not left again with empty promises.”
It is vital that solutions are also implemented for the Warringah Road corridor, and in considering the options SHOROC’s comments include:
- “The Government needs to look at this corridor as whole and commit to road and public transport upgrades as it is clear that grade separation is also urgently required at the intersections of Warringah Road with Wakehurst Parkway and Forest Way as part of the construction of the Northern Beaches Hospital.”
- “These grade separations, coupled with the provision of Express Bus services from Dee Why to Chatswood, potentially with a T3 lane rather than a 24hr bus lane to reduce the impact on car traffic, should be the first-stage priority for implementation on this corridor followed by upgrade to a segregated BRT as demand and patronage increases.”
Over the coming months of consultation the NSW Government will need to agree with SHOROC and the community the options that will be implemented in the short, medium and long term to deliver the transport infrastructure the Northern Beaches and Mosman desperately requires.
Significant planning is also occurring at the state-wide level and the NSW Government must include the construction of a BRT and road upgrades for the SHOROC region in its soon-to-be-released Long Term Transport Masterplan, State Infrastructure Strategy and Metropolitan Strategy.
“We look forward to working with Transport Minister Berejiklian and our local Members Jillian Skinner MP, Mike Baird MP, Brad Hazzard MP, Rob Stokes MP and Jonathan O’Dea MP to agree on the best transport improvements for the Northern Beaches and Mosman and a timetable for their construction”, said Mayor Hay.
More information on the Bus Rapid Transit proposal for the Northern Beaches & Mosman can be found below.
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