Lack of pub­lic trans­port ac­cess to con­tinue

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Elisha Pearce

THE strug­gle of res­i­dents in Western Syd­ney for ac­ces­si­ble pub­lic trans­port to get to work and ed­u­ca­tion is set to con­tinue for decades, ac­cord­ing to a new study.

The Western Syd­ney Re­gional Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Coun­cils com­mis­sioned a re­port to see if in­fra­struc­ture projects were keep­ing up with Syd­ney’s growth.

De­spite huge spend­ing on in­fra­struc­ture, num­bers of Western Syd­ney res­i­dents with­out walk­a­ble ac­cess to trains will ac­tu­ally in­crease be­cause the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion is be­ing housed in new fringe devel­op­ments not con­nected to train lines.

The re­port found only 16 per cent of Black­town city res­i­dents, which in­cludes Mt Druitt and sur­round­ing sub­urbs, live within walk­ing dis­tance of a train sta­tion. Only 8 per cent of Pen­rith res­i­dents were close to trains.

By 2036, 98,000 more peo­ple in Black­town and 34,837 in Pen­rith will live out­side walk­ing dis­tance to rail.

WSROC pres­i­dent Tony Had­chiti said new sta­tions and rail lines must be built, or pop­u­la­tion growth moved else­where. In 20 years, the re­port pre­dicted, another 592,566 Western Syd­ney res­i­dents will live with­out good train ac­cess.

Cur­rently only 21 per cent of Western Syd­ney res­i­dents are near a train line.

Cr Had­chiti said half a mil­lion new res­i­dents were ex­pected to set­tle in the north-south cor­ri­dor be­tween Black­town and the Blue Moun­tains by 2036.

“Un­less we start build­ing rail­way sta­tions in the west and fo­cus on in­creased lev­els of den­sity around ma­jor trans­port nodes, there will be lit­tle respite from the de­bil­i­tat­ing ef­fects of traf­fic con­ges­tion on the econ­omy, our peo­ple and our com­mu­ni­ties,” Cr Had­chiti said.

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