The Greens have put public transport and the scrapping of the WestConnex central to their election platform on transport, a platform they say if implemented would end the dominance of the current “1950s style transport planning”.
The move to cancel the WestConnex and NorthConnex road projects would free up over $4.5 billion that could be redirected to public transport over the next five years, the plan says.
The Greens would shift $2.1 billion of funds to light rail projects, build the Epping to Parramatta heavy rail link and buy back the Airport Link to remove the station access fee that has made the use of public transport to the airport uncompetitive. Also on the cards is introducing fast tilt-trains to operate between Sydney and Newcastle and building more integrated cycleways for Sydney.
Greens NSW transport spokeswoman Dr Mehreen Faruqi said the NSW public deserved a better transport system.
“We’re a smart community, the people of NSW know the amount of money being spent on private toll roads and white elephant thought bubbles like the WestConnex could be used to create a transport system that works for all of us,” Dr Faruqi said. “We all need more liveable and vibrant communities; that’s what good transport does and we all deserve that kind of transport in NSW.”
She said the upcoming March election was a critical moment for the people of NSW to make clear they wanted a better transport system.
“We need an end to the piecemeal approach to public transport planning in Sydney dominated by cars and transport projects based on the whims of the political elite, while the public is locked out of decisions.
“The best part of our plan is that we can have a world class public transport system not through selling off poles and wires, but by scrapping wasteful toll road projects like WestConnex.”