Council is tackling Northern Beaches traffic gridlock with an ambitious transport strategy which calls on the state government to improve public transport in order to reduce the over reliance of cars in and around the area.
The strategy calls for a rapid bus transit to the key employment hubs of Chatswood and Macquarie Park, trips which can currently take commuters hours to travel relatively short distances.
It also sets out the need for additional Council funding for footpaths and cycle networks and to ensure they are better connected to public transport and provide safe and accessible options across the whole area.
At last night’s meeting, Council endorsed the draft transport strategy, titled Move Northern Beaches, and released it for further community input.
Mayor Michael Regan said fixing the transport and traffic woes on the Beaches is the community’s number one priority.
“We can’t stand by and wait for the state and federal governments to catch up with the public transport infrastructure our community desperately needs. We need action now.
“This strategy, developed in conjunction with our community, includes concrete transport improvements that Council can deliver to improve our environment and economy.
“It aims to make us less reliant on cars and use a more accessible, frequent and better public transport service.
“It has targets to see car trips and carbon emissions reduced by 30 percent, ensure a quarter of all trips are by public transport, double trips on foot or by bike and aim towards zero deaths on our roads.
“It also looks at how we how we manage parking and the road network, as well as how we integrate transport throughout new and existing precincts, towns and villages.
“Council will use the strategy to guide our decision making but also as the basis for our ongoing advocacy with our counterparts at the state and federal levels.
“Each year the Northern Beaches grows by around 2,700 people so it’s a big task we’ve set, but we are confident with State Government support anything is possible.”
In April, the Move Northern Beaches Transport Discussion Paper was published to stimulate conversation on transport opportunities and challenges on the Northern Beaches.
“Our residents are clearly passionate about this issue. We received over 2,000 submissions to the discussion paper. We’ve listened to what the community has told us and created a framework for a future transport network that will help make this happen”.
The Strategy identifies five key themes including accessible and liveable places, active travel, public transport, efficient road network and smart parking management.
Proposed future projects include:
• improving our footpaths and shared path networks to make walking and cycling safer
• providing end of trip facilities like bike parking and e-chargers
• and public transport connections such as additional Bus Rapid Transit services between Dee Why and Chatswood, and Mona Vale and Macquarie Park.
The community is now being asked to tell us if the proposed strategy matches their transport needs now and into the future. Have your say at northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au
The Strategy is open for feedback from Friday 31 August to Sunday 7 October 2018.
It is anticipated a final version of the Strategy which includes community feedback, will be reported to Council for consideration and adoption at the end of 2018.