Monthly Archives: July 2012

Cooks River to White Bay link update

Further to our blog last week on the Cooks River to White Bay link, it’s now emerged that Transport for NSW has placed community consultation about the link on-hold. Consultants for Transport for NSW have cancelled two proposed briefings of the GreenWay Steering Committee and other stakeholders.

Apparently, Transport for NSW will first be concentrating on a ‘demand study’ for the Cooks River to White Bay walking and cycling path. This study will not involve consultation but will be a “strategic academic exercise” and is expected to happen towards the end of the year. Depending on the recommendations of the study, further planning work will be undertaken.

It must be said that this development is somewhat disappointing. Without community consultation, it’s not clear how a true “demand” study can be undertaken.

We want to be hopeful, but it is hard when there is so little information emerging about what is going on and when meetings are being cancelled and sudden changes being made to the approach to this issue.

 

The Cooks River to White Bay link: new hope or false dawn?

Former White Bay power station

The Inner-West Courier last week gave some hope that the campaign for the GreenWay is having an impact within the NSW Government. It reported that the Transport for NSW website  has been updated to state that investigations are underway into an ‘active transport’ corridor between the Cooks River and White Bay.

This corridor makes sense. It involves combining the GreenWay (which runs from Iron Cove to the Cooks River) with the City West cycle link (which proposes using the goods line corridor for a cycle path from Leichhardt to White Bay)  There’s a good map here to show how the GreenWay and City West cycle link interact.

Effectively, it would mean a cycle and walking path would follow the goods line corridor all the way from Dulwich Hill to White Bay. Together, these two corridors would run for about 7.5km and provide an almost completely off-road path into the city – linking with the Anzac Bridge and then cycle paths through Pyrmont-Ultimo.

However, what seems like new hope could be a false dawn. The Courier didn’t appear to be able to get a supportive quote from the office of Transport Minister Berejiklian, despite this being a good news story.

Furthermore, on June 25, consultants for Transport for NSW were due to address the GreenWay Steering Committee (made up of the four local councils + community representatives) to talk about the Cooks River to White Bay link. After confirming they would come, the consultants pulled out on the day of the meeting. Committee members who’d previously met the consultants said they were “not across the issues” and couldn’t provide any useful information about the proposal. The committee passed a motion stating it would pass on its concerns about the process to date to Transport for NSW. The formal minutes should be available shortly.

Hopefully, Transport for NSW will be better equipped for this task once it hires some active transport managers (these positions were advertised several weeks ago).

The irony is that, right now, we should be publicly discussing the ‘Cooks River to White Bay’ link with the NSW Government. If it is seriously considering this proposal an off-road route, the government deserves credit. However, unless it begins consultation, we’ll never know.

Inquiry call for rail project costs

The Friends of the GreenWay group has called for an inquiry into new claims which suggest that NSW rail infrastructure, including the light rail extension and GreenWay, could be provided for a much lower price.

A ten-minute video produced by public transport advocacy group EcoTransit casts doubt about the value for money of NSW public transport costings, including for light rail.

The video (available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0kIYfx0fRI) was uploaded on June 12. Read our media release here.