Anything that gets people home to their families quicker, so they can focus on what is important, should be the priority of any government.
Labor yesterday announced $2.4 billion to improve transport along the southern Sydney and Illawarra corridor. Instead of focusing on the new F6 toll road, their plan is to improve the public transport access to Southern Sydney, the Illawarra and South Coast.
According to data from last year, the Illawarra (T4) line is the third busiest train line in the morning, operating at 132%. With the affordability of housing in Sydney being out of people’s reach, the Illawarra region has become a popular alternative, and public transport needs to meet the demand of a growing population.
The promise to improve public transport over an expensive toll road should be welcomed news to those on the Illawarra and South Coast. It was suggested the tolls on the new F6 could costs commuters up to $100 a week, and as we have seen with other toll roads throughout Sydney the cost has climbed twice a year. An improved train line would be a much more affordable option for commuters.
But as the author of the word “South Connex”, I do not believe that the plans for the F6 toll road should be deprioritised. It is not either/or, the growing population needs both improved rail and road infrastructure.
The goal of this project is to decrease travel times, increase service frequency, and improve customer experience. Anything that gets people home to their families quicker, so they can focus on what is important, should be the priority of any government.
I welcome this announcement as I have been advocating for improved transport for the South Coast and Illawarra, raising the need for improved train services in Parliament in May 2016. And I will hold a Daley Labor Government to this promise if they were to form Government on March 23rdthis year.