Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Greens Paper - A Better Transport Solution for Gungahlin and Wider Canberra.

The ACT Greens today published a very well researched and balanced paper examining the different modes of transport available to Canberra residents. The paper looks at roads, cars, buses and light rail - and recommends light rail and integrated bus services as the best solution for (initially Gungahlin) residents.  The paper can be downloaded here. 

The paper uses the ACT Governments own reports and research in proving the business case for light rail and/or bus rapid transit. It lists the benefits and disadvantages of both modes, and recommends light rail. The initial route that the Greens propose is from Gungahlin to Civic, with extensions to Barton via Russell. 
Greens proposed light rail route from Gungahlin to Civic/Barton/Russell

In looking at the various transport modes, there is also a look at the requirement to continuously build parkway style roads in Canberra. The current debate concerning the 400 million cost of the Majura Parkway is examined. This road certainly needs upgrading, but not to Parkway standards. The paper recommends some sensible upgrades to Majura road and identifies where this funding could come from.

Naturally being the product of a very robust political debate underway right now, it is critical of the Labor governments approach to transport. Some quotes from the Greens MLA Amanda Bresnan illustrate the difference in opinion on what sustainable transport consists of.

“The ACT Greens want to see real transport solutions – solutions that will create convenient, sustainable and equitable ways to get around Canberra,” Ms Bresnan said.
“We are arguing for investment in and prioritisation of a rapid, high capacity public transport network. This is the long term solution for bringing convenient, effective and sustainable transport to North Canberra.
“It is troubling that the Government’s arguments for building the Majura freeway are not standing up to scrutiny. The Government hasn’t assessed issues such as the benefits that quality public transport would have compared to a freeway. Nor has it properly assessed future traffic congestion on the road, the greenhouse gas emissions it will generate, or the impacts on Canberra’s urban form.

"In Australia and around the world, the lesson to learn from the evidence presented by planning experts is that good public transport is the best way to tackle congestion." Ms Bresnan said. 
Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, the research in the Greens paper is supported by evidence. Indeed much of that evidence comes from the ACT Government own research - and is not new to those following the light rail debate.  It will be interesting to see what sort of run this paper gets from the media.  


  1. Yes, lets not be the last capital city to have a good rail-based transport system.

  2. Anonymous23.6.11

    I agree we don't have space for a heaver rail network but we are the capital of aus we can't be the last to get a light rail

  3. In looking at the various transport modes, there is also a look at the requirement to continuously build parkway style roads in Canberra.

  4. Anonymous20.12.12

    The time to build light rail in Canberra is now. If the Greens hold the balance of power in the ACT and continue to support the building of roads and freeways then they are not genuine greens. It seems we still have this need for independent travel, with the waste that comes with it. Individuals in cars travelling to work or the shops. Canberra should be able to show the way not blindly keep building roads. Build the light rail to the suburbs, double the parking fees to supliment ticket prices.