Tram line shambles a casualty of politicising transport infrastructure
The failing cyclist ban on a key stretch of Newcastle’s tram line is a case study in poor planning, demonstrating how community consultation is abandoned to deliver profits for property developers, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW has said.
RTBU Divisional Secretary David Babineau said the NSW Government’s eagerness to wave through inner city developments has left the public out in the cold, with no alternative paths provided to cyclists who have been barred from the mixed-running section of the light rail line.
The ban was recommended by a safety review after the death of a cyclist in June. But David Babineau said this is the reality of what the state government considers ‘community consultation’: ticking a few boxes to push through a report and get their plans over the line.
“This is yet another classic example of the NSW Government’s approach to transport in the Newcastle region. No consultation, no viable strategy in place, and commuters miss out,” Mr Babineau said.
“The government have legions of planners involved in developments like this. But screens and maps don’t contain the insight you can only get from talking to people who live and work in the space.
“The sad reality is that crucial pieces of infrastructure are constantly held hostage for political gain. Now that the state election is over, the NSW Government seems to have little interest in ensuring their pet project actually works for the people they are intended for.”