The rail industry has called for the Sydney Metro West line to Parramatta to continue to go ahead as planned, saying it would ultimately be more expensive to halt works already underway and severely impact Sydney’s growing western suburbs.
Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO Caroline Wilkie said stopping this once-in-a-century transport infrastructure project that will double rail capacity between the two CBDs will have negative impacts on the wider community.
“Halting major projects like the Sydney Metro West line mid-construction, with tunnel boring already in full swing, is going to cost the NSW taxpayer more in the long run and have significant negative impacts on sustainable growth,” Ms Wilkie said.
“This is a significant piece of transport infrastructure that will bring great benefits to not only Western Sydney but the entire Sydney region in terms of jobs and housing creation.
“The NSW Government’s own report states that the metro will move more than 40,000 people an hour in each direction – significantly more than the current suburban line.
“With an extra 420,000 people expected to move into the corridor between Greater Parramatta and Sydney by 2036, a Metro running every two minutes will significantly cut peak-hour congestion and deliver a faster, safer service.
“Sydney Metro West will create tens of thousands of jobs during construction and, once complete, provide a vital connection for Western Sydney residents to major health, education and employment precincts, including the Sydney CBD.
“Stopping this project will leave residents of Western Sydney stranded from public transport. If you rip out the rail line, you leave residents with no possibility but to get in their cars and sit in traffic.
“At a time where we need to encourage greater use of rail to reduce emissions and meet net-zero targets, this project is more important than ever. The NSW Government has estimated that the project is expected to create about 10,000 direct and 70,000 indirect jobs during construction.
“Furthermore, rail corridors have a unique capacity to drive urban renewal and development compared with other transport modes which will facilitate the densification required to manage population growth.”
Ms Wilkie said cancelling projects mid-construction also had significant ripple effect on the industry which lasts for years.
“Certainty is critical for industry. When projects get cancelled repeatedly you can’t get contractors to bid for projects. You lose capability in the market to deliver vital projects and you lose competitiveness.”
Sydney Metro West is a new 24-kilometre metro line with stations confirmed at Westmead, Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock, The Bays, Pyrmont and Hunter Street in the Sydney CBD.
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