Greens call on Transport Minister to back up unproven Newcastle light rail claim

Greens NSW Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, today called on the NSW Minister for Transport to back up claims that her government’s proposed Newcastle light rail would increase public transport use.

“The state government is now distributing a glossy brochure claiming that their proposed light rail replacement for the current train services between Newcastle and Wickham stations will ‘encourage more people to use public transport when commuting to the city centre for work, shopping and recreation’”, Dr  Faruqi said.

“But where is the modelling to back up this unsupported claim?

“Any transport expert will tell you that you lose passengers if you force them to change transport modes, and previous studies on cutting Newcastle’s train services have confirmed this.

“The NSW 2021 Plan commits the government to specific a public transport patronage target for the Newcastle CBD. The Minister must know that cutting the current inter-city train services direct to Newcastle station will make this target harder to achieve.

“This is a government more committed to pandering to the vested interests of property developers than to evidence-based policy or to the best interests of Newcastle and public transport users.

“It’s now ‘consulting’ on proposed light-rail routes when it has never even asked the people affected by the decision whether they would prefer this to the current rail services.

“Newcastle could benefit from light rail, but as an addition to, rather than a replacement for, current services.  The Greens strongly support investment in integrated public transport, including light rail, but this must not be done at the cost of existing infrastructure and without clear and transparent justification.”

Media Contact: Matt Hilton 0423 106 247

More information: The new “Revitalising Newcastle” brochure http://bit.ly/1cvWKjW

Matt Hilton

Legislative, Policy and Media Adviser

Office of Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC
Legislative Council | NSW Parliament

E: matthew.hilton@parliament.nsw.gov.au

P: (02) 9230 2625 | M: +61423106247|F: facebook.com/mehreenfaruqi | T: @MehreenFaruqi | W: mehreenfaruqi.org.au

Mail: Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

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