Public Transport Directions – Sydney, too, is arguing

Those of us who have visited Sydney may have been impressed by the public transport system: ferries criss-crossing that magnificent harbour, frequent trains and buses – even a limited light-rail service.  But despite these services, parts of the city are often clogged by cars.  There have been something like six reports trying to find a solution to what they see as a worsening problem.  They are trying to get the right mix of heavy rail, light rail and buses – along with a “metro” – a service something between heavy and light rail largely running underground.

The latest report, commissioned, I htink, by the Sydney Morning Herald, a sister-publication of the Christchurch Press, is just out.  It advocates a different approach from what the NSW state government is planning.

Obviously, Sydney with its 4 million-plus population is of a scale entirely different from Greater Christchurch.  Nevertheless,  there areclear lessons: it is important to plan for the long-term (the 35-year horizon of the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy is not far enough), be prepared to be flexible as time passes and, as far as is possible, achieve a consensus on the best direction. 


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