Page 895 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 March 2005
racks on buses, trunk cycle network improvements, travel behaviour change projects and the development of an ACT-wide parking strategy.
As you can see, for the first time an ACT government has a comprehensive transport strategy designed at improving the motor split and improving our reliance on other non-car modes, in an effort to reduce our reliance on the private motor vehicle and the damaging greenhouse gas emissions that occur as a result of the use of those vehicles, but also to improve the quality of our urban life and urban environment through spaces that are focused on lively places for people, events and activity rather than simply for the motor vehicle.
I would now like to outline a range of measures the government is implementing. Through a budget allocation in the current financial year, the government is investing $6 million to undertake the design of a Belconnen to Civic busway. The Belconnen to Civic busway is a major infrastructure project for the ACT government. It has the potential to redefine the nature of Canberra’s public transport system. The proposed 10-kilometre route from Belconnen town centre to the city runs parallel with College Street, to Hayden Drive in Belconnen, curves past Radford College and across to Canberra Stadium and Calvary Hospital, before following Belconnen Way into the city.
This route is a starting point for further discussions and mainly follows an alignment designated some years ago in the territory plan as a public transport corridor. It recognises the needs of commuters wanting fast access to and from the city, and the plan is to have stations near the following institutions: the Australian Institute of Sport and Canberra Stadium; the Australian National University; the Canberra Institute of Technology, Bruce Campus; Calvary Hospital; the Childers Street precinct in city west; CSIRO Black Mountain headquarters; Radford College; and the University of Canberra.
With the Belconnen to Civic busway constructed, buses will have a distinct advantage over motor vehicles travelling on College Street, Hayden Drive, Belconnen Way and Barry Drive, as they will have a dedicated roadway designed to decrease the door-to-door travelling time compared to the private motor vehicle. The reduction in door-to-door travel times will be achieved through:
• faster travel times, as the busway will be only be used by buses and emergency vehicles, reducing congestion especially during peak periods;
• a consistent trip time. Each journey will always be the same time, as services are not influenced by external factors such as traffic lights, traffic, motor vehicle accidents and so on;
• greater frequency of bus services and more express, non-stop services, compared with bus services on local roads;
• improved journey times through the Belconnen town centre, with an almost straight journey from the western side to the eastern side of the Belconnen town centre, with no waiting times at the interchange. In fact, the Belconnen interchange will be demolished altogether and replaced by bus stations adjacent to major shopping and employment centres. Suburban buses will also be able to access the busway at key locations, providing a same-seat, point-to-point journey.