Page 322 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2006

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Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The Government is looking at a range of complementary options for sustainable transport for all of Canberra, not just between Belconnen and the City. Our 25 year plan is detailed in the “The Sustainable Transport Plan for the ACT” (Transport Plan) which I launched in April 2004.

(2) In the route identification process to select a preferred corridor alignment, initial environmental assessments to assist in differentiating between the corridor options have been undertaken.

When a preferred route for the Busway has been selected a detailed environmental study in the form of the Preliminary Assessment (PA) Report, as required under provisions of the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991, will be undertaken.

(3) Barry Drive runs between Fairfax Street, O’Connor (Section 81) to Northbourne Avenue, Turner (Section 41). There are dedicated bus lanes travelling east and west (near the intersection of Clunies Ross Street and Barry Drive). These are used by ACTION Local and Intertown services.

A major initiative proposed under the Sustainable Transport Plan is improving the public transport system with the development of busways on all trunk routes, not just from Belconnen to the City. These busways will be a combination of exclusive bus roadways, exclusive bus lanes and buses sharing with cars along with bus priority measures at traffic signals and intersections. It is important to reserve the corridors for public transport into the future, which will be essential as Canberra grows and traffic congestion inhibits travel times.

(4) The Government has looked at a range of options to encourage Canberra commuters to choose more sustainable transport. The initiatives identified in the Transport Plan are a comprehensive package of complementary measures designed to have maximum impact in achieving a shift towards a more sustainable transport system.

The Transport Plan was based on an extensive and thorough analysis of the future transport needs of Canberra. Several significant pieces of work inform the findings and recommendations of the Transport Plan. These include The Public Transport Futures Feasibility Study, The ACT Transport Costing Study, The Transport Elasticity Study and The Sustainable Transport Plan Issues Paper. The ACT Planning and Land Authority has made these studies publicly available.

(5) Between Belconnen and the City, and elsewhere in Canberra, the Government is implementing and investigating a broad range of measures to encourage a modal shift of commuters away from low occupancy private vehicles to more efficient public transport. These measures have been flagged in the Government’s Sustainable Transport Plan and announced at appropriate times such as budget time.

(6) Yes in the investigation under pinning the Sustainable Transport Plan. More detailed investigation on the level of reduction of private vehicle use, thus greenhouse gas emissions on the busway are subject to the detailed assessment of cost benefit analysis study.

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