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Transport

Transport is a key component of a sustainable, fair and liveable city. Responsibility for transport infrastructure and services is shared across different levels of government. Newcastle Greens believe Newcastle City Council must be more active and outspoken on transport issues: as a provider and regulator of transport infrastructure and services, as an advocate for the community, and in collaborative planning and service delivery with other transport infrastructure and service providers.

Transport infrastructure and services must be coordinated and integrated across the city and the region. Planning for more sustainable transport must be given high priority, be incorporated early in the development process and be integrated into the urban form. Public transport is an essential service and must be available to all city residents irrespective of income, address, and physical and intellectual ability.

A fit-for-purpose 21st century transport system will provide low-pollution technologies that work for residents, commuters, visitors, freight, and access to services. It will anticipate and prepare infrastructure for new technologies and systems such as electric vehicles, on-demand services, ride sharing and driverless vehicles. It will support a shift from reliance on individual journeys in privately-owned fossil-fuelled cars (currently 91% of all journeys) to a cheap, efficient, well-patronised public system, using renewable energy, for at least 50% of journeys. This includes the people-powered energy of cyclists and pedestrians.

The Newcastle Greens will work with the community and across all levels of Government to:

Ensure a safe and efficient transport system for Newcastle and the Hunter Region by:

  • Establishing an independent expert Hunter Regional Transport Authority
  • Integrating all regional public transport in timetabling, making connections, fares, and information
  • Reducing the travel time by train to and from Sydney to 90 minutes or less
  • Building the Glendale Interchange
  • Opposing further privatisation of public transport and returning city bus and ferry services to public ownership

Achieve the ’30-minute journey’ for all modes of commuter transport by:

  • Locating new higher-density residential, employment-generating, and commercial development around existing transport hubs such as railway stations and bus interchanges
  • Improving cycling and pedestrian connections around transport hubs and high-use destinations such as the University (city and Callaghan), CBD and foreshore, hospitals, shopping precincts, colleges and schools
  • Increasing bus frequency and coverage and instituting priority bus lanes at peak hours

Shift bulk freight movements from roads to rail by:

  • Supporting a suitably located western rail bypass in conjunction with an intermodal freight facility
  • Supporting a Mayfield port-side rail line to handle containers and other mixed cargoes
  • Beginning investigation and community consultation as soon as possible on options for the route of a freight bypass and a Mayfield port-side rail link

Achieve 50% of all journeys by walking, cycling or public transport by 2030 by:

Public transport

  • Building a new ferry wharf at the Newcastle Interchange
  • Improving access, parking and frequency of services at suburban rail stations
  • Supporting park-and-ride services for high-demand destinations
  • Providing alternative bus services such as on-demand services in areas off major bus routes
  • Investigating construction of a new ferry wharf and park-and-ride facility at North Stockton
  • Increasing seasonal (e.g. beach) and event (e.g. football, concerts) services
  • Re-establishing a free beach and city loop service for residents, commuters and tourists covering CBD, foreshore, beaches to Merewether, Darby Street and Newcastle Interchange
  • Ensuring bus stops provide seating and shelter that is safe, well-lit, weather-proof, wheelchair friendly, and well maintained
  • Constructing disability access to all bus stops and railway stations and accelerating the program to progressively install lifts

Pedestrians

  • Ensuring that council spending on footpath construction and maintenance is increased relative to total budget expenditure
  • Recognising that there is a pedestrian component to every use of public transport, and ensuring that pedestrian links to and from transport hubs and stops are direct, safe and convenient
  • Designing transport hubs and town centres, particularly in new medium-density precincts, to provide pedestrian infrastructure that links to the surrounding residential areas, and an urban form that provides traffic-free spaces for pedestrian access, including disability access, to local shopping, leisure and food services
  • Separating pedestrian and cycle paths when providing new services, and on existing routes where possible, and ensuring paths and cycleways are suitable for wheelchair users, other disabled users and parents with prams and strollers

Cycling

  • Ensuring council spending on cycling infrastructure and facilities is increased relative to both road spending and total budget expenditure, and in accordance with the priorities identified in council’s Cycling Strategy
  • Building continuous separated cycleways to link high-priority destinations
  • Installing free bike carriers on all trains, buses and ferries
  • Requiring secure bicycle storage at all large public facilities, such as sports and entertainment venues, hospitals and education campuses, and in all new medium and large residential and commercial developments
  • Separating pedestrian and cycle paths when providing new services, and on existing routes where possible, and ensuring paths and cycleways are suitable for wheelchair users, other disabled users and parents with prams and strollers

Prepare for and adopt new transport technologies and systems by:

  • Requiring all new public busses, taxis, and commercial ride-sharing vehicles to be hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuelled
  • Beginning immediately to install public and private infrastructure such as EV charging stations to support a 100% renewable-fuelled transport fleet by 2030
  • Developing a program to transition 30% of Council’s cars, trucks and other equipment to renewable electric power by 2025
  • Providing incentives such as free or cheaper parking and lower licence fees for 100% renewable - fuelled vehicles
  • Leveraging Council ownership in Newcastle Airport to reduce carbon emissions from air travel and adopt best practice as aviation changes