Lack of public transport access to continue
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.