Archive for the ‘Public Transport’ Category

Transport for NSW Long Term Master Plan – Submission on Discussion Paper

As an advocate for both adaptive thinking and the Environment the Habitat Association for Arts and Environment has included the latest publication by one of its members, David Holland, on transport planning for New South Wales.

For those who are surfing the web from outside of Australia, New South Wales is arguably the most populous State in Australia and has a large economy in Australian terms.

This means that transport planning in New South Wales (NSW) is pivotal to the future success of that economy and the we being of the residents and workers of the State.

We may even go as far as to say that without a solid strategy for the future and new co-operation between the various transport agencies, NSW is poised to produce more transport bottleneck which will affect the states future prosperity. The submission outline three themes that Mr. Holland feels are important for the way forward. They are sustainability, security and reliability.

The submission not only looks at very practical aspects of providing a sustainable public transport system, but also sustainable ways to operate transport systems into the future. This is highlighted in the approach related to handling freight. The submission proposes a logical but revolutional way to handle freight service between regions and between other Australian States.

The use of renewable energy in the rail system is touched on as a way for the State to meet renewable energy targets.

The Central Coast of NSW is referred to in much of the submission. David believes that regional Australia is often left out of detailed transport planning processes because of the assumption that all commuting, as has been traditionally the case, is flowing to and from the Sydney metropolitan areas. With the slow but steady improvement of job opportunities in the regions, more and more commuting is being done intra-regionally. This means that public transport services should not only accommodate this trend but transport planning should drive this trend, providing appropriate infrastructure to give greater opportunity for regional investment in the growing regional economic powerhouses of the Illawarra, the Central Coast, the far west of Sydney around Penrith and the Blue Mountains, and the south west of Sydney around Campbelltown.

To Read More follow this link>:

A Paper to identify the nexus between Wyong Shire’s Township master Plans, the Wyong Township’s Transport Precinct and the NSW Road and Maritime Services Proposal

Planning Public Transport Structures & Wyong Town Centre

The drive to put a four lane highway through the township

By David Holland,  B.A.S. Env. Plan. Grad. Dip. Env. Mgmt.

Introduction

Over the last few years the Road Traffic Authority has been updating the Pacific Highway on the Central Coast.  It has been prioritising the work by widening the most needed sections first. In the last 2 years the road between Wyong Road and the Wyong river has been completed to the 4 lane standard. This has improved traffic flow from the Tuggerah Business and commercial precinct. With this stretch of road the RTA has incorporated a secragated bike track as well as bus priority lanes. This section of road has been well thought out and is a quality segment of road.

The next stage is the crossing of Wyong River and pushing a renewed road through the township of Wyong.

Background

Over the last three years the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has engaged in several community consultation campaigns. The first was directed to residence in the locality, explaining some of the alternative proposals put up by the RMS, none of which fully addressed the concerns presented in the submission to the RMS.

Various groups and individuals have contributed to the number of options that could be made to enable the Pacific Highway traffic to flow through the Township.

Some include the diversion of the traffic to a new ramp to the freeway.  The RMS suggested that this would skew traffic flows towards minor streets in the western parts of the town causing traffic problems in these areas.

The Baker Street Master Plan

This is a Wyong Council master plan which is located immediately to the east of the railway station. It will allow multi-storey development  in both commercial and residential forms. It is a pivotal plan for any realistic development for the township.

The River foreshore Master Plan

The river foresaw master plan is located on the Wyong river to the south-east of the Transport Precinct.  Although some re-design may need to be incorporated into the plan due to new considerations of sea level rise introduced in 2010, this is potentially a necessary expansion for the town. It will provide the potential for additional residential developments.

Both master plans will add to the attractiveness of the township as a residential location and provide the much-needed consolidation to development around the township to ensure the viability of both the shopping opportunities within the town and the transport precinct.

The Town Plan (DCP 7)

The existing town has a heritage constraint on development, but will be able to be redeveloped over time under the Development Control Plan (DCP) 7 for the Shire. In addition adjacent and within the confines of DCP 7 a cultural Master Plan was released in 2011. This will be developed to further enhance the township experience.

The Transport Precinct

The current transport precinct consists of the railway station, bus interchange, a commuter car park and a taxi rank. In close proximity to the interchange are several small take away and coffee shops. Although the precinct works well a number of issues are evident concerning it.

1. Security and the misbehaviour of public transport users

2. Many people use the interchange to transfer to other designations and spend little time in the town.

3. As the station is the most northerly permanently attended  station by railway staff on the Central Coast and has good ticketing facilities and good car parking facilities, many commuters prefer to drive to this station in preference to other stations closer to their place of residence. In addition, although the bus services are improving, many commuters find the private car more convenient and faster to get to the train at this station.

The Future role for the historic town

When problems with the fragmentation of the town by the proposed roadway are overcome and suitable inducements are created for developers to develop the master plans to the east of the town, the town will hold a good future as a business centre for the region. This business sector would then be supported by a commercial retail, and service sector within the town. With the appropriate transport precinct at the heart of the town, it will emerge that most of the movement around the small town will be as a pedestrian.

To read the recommendations put forward by the Wyong Planning Committee of the CEN, after considerable consultation with a range of local organisations including Wyong Shire Council click on the link.

Submission to the RMS on the proposal to put a four lane highway through the township

Submission for the North Wyong Structure Plan NSW Australia

The North Wyong Structure Plan is one of the most important documents compiled for the Central Coast. It identifies the pattern or template for development in the fastest growing areas of the Central Coast, the areas north of the township of Wyong.

The plan has been produced from the objectives of the Central Coast Strategy 2008, which is the main future looking document for the whole Central Coast.

The relationship of this plan to the Draft Central Coast Regional Transport Strategy (CCRTS)

Recently, the Central Coast has had the opportunity to be presented with the Central Coast Regional Transport Strategy.  This document although still in draft, in our opinion, was not able to satisfactorily identify the future transport needs of the Central Coast. By not using demographic trend data to show the huge needs in transport for the future of the Central Coast it was not able to properly analyze future transport trends and plan projects that relate to these trends. As this plan relies on the CCRTS for transport planning into the future we feel that the transport component of this plan is inadequate.

This document however, while only touching on transport has been able to show the capacity that the Central Coast will be able to contribute to NSW and the growth potential of the area covered by the North Wyong Structure Plan.

Trend from Private to Public Transport

The Plan outlines a potential of up to 10,000 new jobs with the release of developable land over the scope of the Plan. With this increase in employment opportunities there will be an increasing burden on transport infrastructure to move commuters. To increase efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions the Plan should move with the trend away from private forms of transport to public transport. This planned trend will help avoid cost blowouts on roads funding and time wasted by commuters waiting on congested roads.

It is expected that a large proportion of the jobs will be filled by workers from the southern parts of the Central Coast and Newcastle. It would be ideal that everyone living in the region would be able to walk or ride to work, but this would not be practical considering individual life style choices. However, workers will examine the feasibility of how to get to a particular job. This is where transport plans and transport planning must use a forward planning model to help enable large parts of the work force to easily access public transport.

The CCRTS, of which the Plan relies as a blue print to achieve sustainable transport is lacking in vision.  The Plan lacks a vision for transition from the medium term planning to the long term planning. The Plan, for example, relies on the CCRTS to supply the needed road infrastructure for the massive amounts of movement that is planned within the Plan.  This movement must be planned so that workers leave their cars at home and travel by public transport to work, either locally or from the regions. Bus services must become a seamless option for commuters.

<Read More Issues covered in this submission>

Central Coast – NSW – a Regional Growth Area

Proposal to establish a ‘regional growth area’, including governance and planning structures, for the Central Coast – covering Gosford City and Wyong Shire.

Sustainable Communities Research (SCR) has recently been working on aspects of the growth centre of Warnervale / Wadalba as well as greenfield and renewal growth areas in Wyong Shire and Gosford City. The paper addresses key issues and major questions of strategic planning and infrastructure financing of these areas. Of priority importance for the Central Coast are water planning, population management and infrastructure provisions.

From this work SCR makes three recommendations for consideration, including: extending the area of responsibility of the CCRDC to the Warnervale / Wadalba growth centre; designating Wyong Shire as a Local Government Growth Area; and, designating the whole of the Central Coast as a Regional Growth Area.  The report also suggests five Central Coast plans need to complement the Central Coast Regional Strategy (CCRS) (2008). These plans as noted below are: infrastructure; sustainable transport; conservation; water management; and affordable housing.

Report Recommendations:

A. Growth Areas

We recommend that the State government designate the whole of the Central Coast (Gosford / Wyong) as a Regional Growth Area.

We make three suggestions (containing options) about growth areas for the State government to consider:

1.      State government extending the area of responsibility of the CC Regional Development Corporation (CCRDC) to the Warnervale / Wadalba growth centre;

2.       State government designating Wyong Shire as a ‘Local Government Growth Area’;

3.      State government designating the whole of the Central Coast (Gosford / Wyong) as a Regional Growth Area (preferred option).

B. Planning

We recommend that five plans complement the Central Coast Regional Strategy:

1.      CC Infrastructure Plan – with commitments to delivering needed infrastructure to meet population growth.

2.      CC Sustainable Transport Plan – follow-up actions under the CC Regional Transport Plan (2010) linking the existing major population centres and integrating public transport (rail/buses), roads, cycleways and walkways.

3.      CC Conservation Plan – the yet to be completed plan to conserve the local environment and address degradation from past development (especially the lakes and valleys)

4.      CC Water Management Plan – linking the three above to this plan under the newly formed CC Water Corporation.

5.      CC Affordable Housing Plan – to ensure many local people on lower incomes can afford to live on the Central Coast.

A report presented to:

Hon Bernie O’Farrell, Premiere of NSW, Australia on Wed 21st Sept 2011

by:                             Sustainable Communities Research

Compiled: Wed 24th August 2011

In association with

Habitat Association for Arts and Environment

www.habitatassociation.com.au

Authors            –       Kevin Armstrong and Dr. Ray Rauscher

To read the full report: <click here>


Submission to Transport NSW on: Draft Central Coast Transport Strategy 2010

This submission on the draft Central Coast Transport Strategy(herein referred to as the dCCTS or the Strategy) is laid out under the following headings:

  1. Structure of the dCCTS
  2. Issues, Concerns and Questions
  3. Connections between Statistical Data and Works
  4. A Complete Strategy for the Central Coast
  5. A Proposed Structure for the Strategy

1.0 Structure of the dCCTS

The dCCTS is divided into three time frames.

  1. Current to 2012
  2. Medium term 2012 to 2020
  3. Long Term 2020 to 2036

Each timeframe addresses: Rail, Road, Buses, Bicycles, Walking, Freight, Transport Interchanges, Car Parking and Governance.

The dCCTS lists projects in order of:

1. Recently completed or soon to be commenced;

2. Long term.

There is some reader confusion between these two project categories. For example, the $300 million roads funding is noted as a future project, though these funds are mostly already expended on the nominated projects. Also, the new bus routes as announced by the State were finalised with the commencement of new schedules on 8 Nov 2010.

2.0 Issues, Concerns and Questions

There are a number of issues, concerns and questions that must be raised.

2.1  Central Coast Bus Review

I see the dCCTS as needing to compliment the recent Central Coast Bus Review (under the Outer Metropolitan Bus Review) process. I draw attention to the submission on bus transport needs compiled by myself on behalf of the CEN.

Ref. (Bus review Central Coast 2009)

This submission highlighted the bus needs of the North Wyong District. The dCCTS heralds the result of the outer metropolitan bus review, but many of the North Wyong services (i.e. Lakehaven) as requested in the submission have not been incorporated within the new bus timetables (8 Nov 2010). The dCCTS states that a North Wyong Bus Servicing Strategy is to be prepared between 2012 and 2020. This seems to be yet another delay for the North Wyong area to get a comprehensive plan established. (dCCTS ref p32, 47).

Additional issues associated with the new expanded services for North Wyong extolled in the Strategy, are in contradiction to the new timetable which run the last services generally earlier in the evening than the old timetable to certain destinations north of Lakehaven and in particularly on the weekends. Finally, new peak hour services are ending their runs later at Morisset and Wyee stations than from Lakehaven, thus disadvantaging workers returning home from Tuggerah in comparison to these afore-mentioned locations.

2.2 More Services Needed for North Wyong

The claim in the strategy is that more services run past the Wyong Hospital. This is true except on Sundays where there are now fewer services to the hospital and services finish several hours earlier. Saturday services are not much better even though services between Tuggerah and Lakehaven have increased dramatically on Weekends (ref. p. 29 dCCTS).

2.3 Contributions from Key Stakeholders

I express concern in the comment that Transport NSW will allow contributions from key stakeholders when assessing the needs of the community for additional services. Can the State define ‘key stakeholders’ (dCCTS ref. p31)?

2.4 Bus Corridors

No Strategic Bus Corridors were identified in the North Wyong Area. There is a need, however, for these services, as follows (not exhaustive):

  • Lakehaven to Gosford via Bateau Bay
  • Lakehaven to Charlestown via Swansea
  • Lakehaven to Gosford Via Tuggerah
  • Tuggerah to The North Entrance via Mingara

2.5 Metro Bus

The Metro Bus is a Sydney program and would thus need more explanation of its introduction to the Central Coast (ref p31 dCCRTS). The Strategy suggests that it should be expanded to the Central Coast. If Metro Bus is to become the dedicated bus transit ways on the Central Coast, I suggest The Entrance and the Tuggerah transport interchanges should come under any Metro Bus program and other Central Coast interchanges should be investigated (dCCTS ref p32).

2.6 Fast Rail and Freight Services

The strategy mentions long-term planning for a fast rail and plans for a loop rail for freight services though there are no references to any improvements to the current level of access to the rail. The one exception here is, the addition of the Warnervale township station. The fast train and freight loop installations on the Central Coast will take pressure off the existing rail line, thus allowing an expanded system to meet the Central Coast’s growing population (ref p33, 38). CEN has submitted proposals to the State for two new stations, one at Blue Haven and the other at the southern end of the Coast’s rail line west of Woy Woy Station. This will give quicker access to rail for about 20,000 people by the year 2036.

Web Reference:

Planning Public Transport Structures in North Wyong: A Proposal for a Blue Haven Bus and Train Interchange

2.7 Parking Trains

2.8 Local Government Transport Plans

2.8 Minor Towns not Addressed in Strategy

2.9 Secure Bike Parking (Page 14)

2.10 Wyong town Centre (Page 24)

2.11 Commitment to Provide Alternatives to Private Transport in North Wyong (page 24/25)

2.12 Changing Demographic due to Climate Change

2.13 North Wyong Public Transport Links to Newcastle

2.14 Promoting Public transport use

3.0 Connections Between Statistical Data and works

3.1 The dCCTS quotes a range of statistical data.

3.2 What assumptions could be made from the nexus of these facts?

4.0 A Complete Strategy for the Central Coast

5.0 A Proposed Structure for the Strategy

To read detail on the above sub headings and see full document:

<Click Here>

Submission By

David Holland

B.A.S. Environmental Planning

Grad. Dip. Environmental Management

Member of the Sustainable Transport Committee of CEN

Member of the Community Environment Network (CEN)

Commentary on Australia’s Future for Renewable Energy

This is a discussion paper about renewable energy and how Australia is placed to act on reforms to improve the uptake of renewable energy. The paper also comments on a series of letters sent to Federal Government Members and Ministers from 2006 to 2010.

The commentaries on the letters add additional information not given in these letters to the federal government. This additional information has been added with a contemporary nature relating to the year 2010.

This discussion paper has within its appendix list the actual letters sent to the federal government. In addition it has the two replies from two federal departments received from the final letter written in 2009. These letters are from the Minister for Resources and Energy and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport.

These replies outline some interesting plans for the direction of the then Rudd government and actions containing exciting programs underway. The commentary on the letter from the Minister for Resources and Energy analyses information presented in the letter that explain the government’s promoting of the ‘hydrogen economy’, and the continuation of research into carbon abatement programs. Some interesting results are emerging from this program that may be environmentally friendlier than the simple carbon capture and storage concept.

The commentary on the reply from the office of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, makes two important points. Firstly the government is continuing the planning for coal extraction by providing additional rail infrastructure for the coal mining industry. Secondly, though the introduction of Infrastructure Australia a range of much-needed infrastructure within Australia can be planned, This will ensure proper investment in future infrastructure provided consideration is given to issues surrounding the impacts of climate change and peak oil. These should include best practice planning for the use of renewable fuels and renewable energy.

The commentaries on the letters are detailed, adding to the information contained in the letters. When reading these commentaries the original letters should be referenced to get a better picture of how the subject has evolved over the 2 to 3 year period between the letters and the commentary.

Some of the subjects canvassed by the letters include; ‘the future of fuel cell technologies’, ‘the hydrogen economy’, ‘using hydrogen as an energy carrier’, ‘the efficiencies of heavy freight rail’ and that a move towards higher levels of public transport use will help reduce carbon emissions and reduce government spending on high cost infrastructure such as roads.

The letters cover, as does the commentary, the issue of a carbon trading system or carbon tax. It outlines in brief the need for some market based system to line up with world’s carbon trading systems or programs that provide ways to give disincentives for producing greenhouse gases by manufacturing enterprises. These enterprises utilize the ‘public good’ resources such as a balanced gaseous air mix in our atmosphere and clean seas that still have a capacity to absorb carbon dioxide. However many industrial and transport processes are impacting on the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere which is tending to cause changes to other economic systems reliant on stable weather patterns. These economic systems such as food production and other systems including natural systems rely on stable climate and weather patterns. When these systems are impacted the world’s population and general economy can be drastically affected. High levels of CO2 impact the very wellbeing of human life on earth and any compensation by manufacturing and industry is meaningless. However, these externalities explained above are considerable and morally they should somehow be accounted for in the manufacturing process. With these externalities accounted for by an artificial but morally sound price signal, it then may be that a cheaper and more economically sound (assuming the pure economics of a level playing field) process may be found that is better for the manufacturer. This is where a price on carbon helps to artificially price the damage these externalities are causing and attempts to give industry some impetus to find more carbon neutral forms of energy production.

One of the most important areas the commentary covers is that of a future change in energy sources from a fossil fuel driven economy to a renewable energy economy.

This move must be accompanied by a government planned response to supporting infrastructure. It is one thing to drive a renewable energy industry and connect it to an existing grid, but another to plan for and encourage infrastructure development by private industry to build plant in areas away from the grid.

Similarly, an organized plan is need for the infrastructure needed to support a move away from fossil fuels in the automotive industry. Without government initiatives and proper planning to a standardized type of automotive support infrastructure, private investment will continue to identify a move towards renewable automotive fuels too risky.

With no standards for a supply route for a renewable energy fuel, private industry will find it a mammoth task to provide both a vehicle to run on a particular renewable energy source as well as provide the infrastructure, this with the high possibility that the whole new type of renewable energy system, including the vehicle and infrastructure, will not be embraced by the public due to its initial costs or lack of convenience etc.

The paper makes no apologies for being prescriptive. Although many of the concepts in the paper have been thought through by government experts, there is always the danger that assumptions can be made about the detail of what is being explained in a paper. So the avoid this some level of detail in some of the concepts and processes are present in the document.

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