Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2777 ..
realistically compete with or even beat private car transport in terms of gross travel time. Measures in the budget that facilitate bus priority, particularly those which potentially create dedicated separate busways, help us in the shift towards a rapid transit network and are a method proven to work in other cities.
The ACT Greens support increasing modal share of public and active transport and we believe the best means of doing so is improving the service. Where public transport services effectively provide for the transport requirements of families and individuals, people, out of economic self-interest, will use public transport.
Access to effective public transport is also a major determinant of social inclusion. The ability to access services in the community is dependent upon the ability to get to and from shops, schools, work and friends. If people are not provided with adequate public transport then the vulnerable in our community are often the most heavily hit. This is why we are concerned that there are areas in Canberra where public transport is insufficient.
A particular concern is not providing public transport services to new developments in Canberra. In addition to denying Canberrans who move to these areas public transport services that those living in a modern sustainable city would reasonably expect, it increases the chance that vulnerable Canberrans in these areas will be cut off from the services they need.
The provision to extend Redex is a welcome one. Whilst the ACT Greens are somewhat disappointed that the government has not taken the opportunity to replicate the success of a rapid express route for other areas of Canberra in need of public transport improvements, the retention and improvement of the route signals a positive move to address congestion throughout Canberra.
We note that the government has been in talks with the Mayor of Queanbeyan, presumably with an eye to extending the Redex service beyond our borders to service the thousands of commuters and students who travel on Canberra Avenue every day. Such a move would provide substantial relief to the congestion which this major road experiences.
On the topic of congestion, we believe that the government should strongly consider providing a service down the Gungahlin Drive extension. The level of congestion repeatedly seen during peak hour travelling down the GDE between Gungahlin and Woden indicates that there is substantial travel between those destinations which could provide sufficient demand to operate a public transport service. In addition, the operation of a service would go a long way to alleviating the congestion problems commuters are facing each morning.
The decision to invest in infrastructure around major stops is another positive step in improving the accessibility and functionality of the public transport system, particularly along major trunk routes. However, it should be noted that substantial work needs to be done to improve infrastructure at suburban stops as well; in particular, ensuring connectivity with the footpath network. Failure to connect along footpaths provides a major barrier for people who are dependent on wheelchairs, who are often some of the most dependent on the public transport system.