Page 3935 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 20 September 2017
The point of the car parking is that there is not enough all-day parking provided, especially on that Flemington Road end of Mitchell. Because of that cars are parked up and down the eastern side of Mitchell, which has, in effect, taken away the short-stay parking throughout that part of Mitchell. That means that many of the businesses that depend on people being able to zip in and zip out simply do not have that on offer to their clients. And when you take away the convenience of access, Mitchell is quite isolated. The whole point of having precincts such as Mitchell and Hume is that there is space and relatively good vehicle access. Once you take away that good vehicle access, one of their key advantages is taken away.
It is interesting that Ms Le Couteur should also talk about a stop in Mitchell slowing down the travel time. It would only slow down the travel time if there was somebody there who wanted to get on or someone who wanted to get off. If there was no demand it would not affect travel time at all; the tram would go straight on through the stop. To say that it would slow down the travel time is an admission that people want to get on and people want to get off at Mitchell. It would suggest that there is a demand if it is going to slow down the travel time.
In addition, Ms Le Couteur also said that the Mitchell traders should have, in effect, lobbied harder when the Downer residents were lobbying. But, as she pointed out herself, the initial plans had a stop in place for Mitchell, so there was no need for them to form a lobbying entity. You can rest assured that if there was a Swinden Street stop from the very beginning, Downer would not have fought hard to keep their stop; it would have just been a given. But the fact that there was a Lysaght Street stop in those original maps put out by the government gave false hope and false comfort to the traders of Mitchell.
Of course, many traders in Mitchell first heard they were not getting a tram stop a matter of weeks ago, when they were doorknocked by the Mitchell traders. They just assumed that having a depot in Mitchell a few hundred metres away and having the main arterial road that the tram is travelling down would be an obvious location for a tram stop—and it is. It is an obvious location for a tram stop. The thing about this light rail system is that there are no key destinations and not many key workplaces throughout the route. Mitchell is perhaps the only one between Dickson and Gungahlin where there are a significant number of workers. Many people would have simply worked on the assumption that it makes sense that there would be a tram stop in Mitchell, just as there are currently bus stops in Mitchell.
It is interesting that Ms Fitzharris said we should not build more parking because we should be encouraging active travel. We are not building a tram stop. You are hardly encouraging active travel if you are not building a tram stop. It is absolutely absurd that you would make this case that we should use public transport but you are not going to provide a public transport stop. This is the inconsistency of the government.
Then, of course, they say, “Don’t worry; buses are going to remain.” What are the plans for buses there? At the moment you can get a single bus from Gungahlin through Mitchell on to the city, and the 200 route already goes down Flemington Road, the same journey as the tram. They currently have the frequent red rapid and, in