Metro West must activate development on private land as well as government land: Chris Johnson

Metro West must activate development on private land as well as government land: Chris Johnson
Metro West must activate development on private land as well as government land: Chris Johnson

GUEST OBSERVER

The announcement by the NSW Government that a new underground Metro West railway will be the next major public transport project must open up new development opportunities on private land as well as on government owned land.

The announcement that Sydney Metro West will proceed as a rapid transit line between the Sydney CBD and Parramatta is good news.

 Clearly the existing heavy rail is approaching capacity and a new connection is needed between Sydney’s West and East.

The current proposal, as announced by the government, only has new stations on government owned land at the Bays Precinct and at Sydney Olympic Park but there are also options for increased density on privately owned land on sites along the route that should be included.

The Urban Taskforce has previously suggested other sites for a metro station at Camellia and Kings Bay and there are other areas along the route that should be considered. In order to maximise the public benefits of this costly piece of infrastructure, additional metro stations should be provided.

In March 2015 the Urban Taskforce proposed that Sydney needed a Central Metro line running East West and a Circle Line wrapping around the city. It is good to see that the combination of lines for Sydney Metro has now set the framework for both a Central Line and a Circle Line similar to the Underground in London.

The future of the proposed Parramatta Light Rail will now need to be reconsidered. A Metro system will be far more effective in moving large crowds from Sydney Olympic Park than a Light Rail system. The Light Rail from Parramatta may be better relocated along the Carlingford line towards the North.

It is important that significant density of development including tall buildings is stimulated along the proposed Metro West route and that community members understand that this hugely beneficial piece of transport infrastructure comes with additional growth and density.

The Government’s statement that they will use a market-led approach to delivering the new metro line demonstrates the intention to maximise private sector involvement.

Chris Johnson is chief executive officer of property development industry group Urban Taskforce and can be contacted here.

Tags: 
Infrastructure Metro West

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