A Randwick City Council support plan to help local residents and businesses affected by the proposed introduction of light rail was endorsed at a meeting of Council last night, Tuesday 29 April 2014.
The light rail support plan proposes allocating $68M in future draft budgets, subject to detailed community consultation, to build a multi-storey car park in Kingsford, claw back street parking removed because of the light rail (such as along Anzac Parade), upgrade drainage, create new urban plazas and develop better cycleway connections.
The NSW Government is expected to start work later this year on the construction of the $1.6B project to build light rail from Circular Quay to Randwick and Kingsford.
Its construction will deliver a new, modern transport solution to service 42,000 UNSW students, 13,200 hospital and uni workers, 11,000 resident commuters, 7,000 TAFE students, 400,000 race-goers and millions more people who go to concerts, events and sporting matches at the sporting stadiums and Centennial Parklands.
However its construction will also result in the loss of parking, removal of trees and changes to traffic flow around Anzac Parade, Alison Road and High Street in Randwick.
Under Transport for NSW's current proposal, about 687 parking spaces will be lost along the route, including parking on Anzac Parade, and about 280 trees could be removed in the Randwick Local Government Area.
The changes will affect the suburbs of Randwick, Kingsford and Kensington, where 60 per cent of the tree loss and 80 per cent of the parking loss will occur. It is estimated that about 230 parking spaces will be lost at Kingsford near Souths Juniors Leagues Club.
Randwick Mayor Scott Nash said Council's light rail support plan addresses these impacts and will ensure Randwick City gets the most out of the new transport system.
"We welcome the introduction of light rail in Randwick City and commend the Government on funding this project. Our plan will support light rail and make sure Randwick City gets the most out of this once in a generation opportunity to revitalise our City.
"I think this is a great project. Getting light rail is a nine out of ten. Our plan will help make this project a ten out of ten", Mayor Nash said.
Randwick City Council's five-year support plan proposes to:
- create hundreds of new onstreet parking spaces (to reclaim those lost by the introduction of light rail) by changing parallel parking to angle parking in local streets near Anzac Parade;
- purchase land and construct a multi-storey car park at Kingsford 9-ways roundabout;
- build new public plazas and close streets at Waratah Ave/Belmore Rd, Randwick; and Meeks St/Anzac Pde, Kingsford; upgrade stormwater drainage;
- build east-west cycleways that connect with light rail stops;
- build bicycle lockers and racks near light rail stops; and
- undertake traffic calming works in residential streets.
"Light rail will bring considerable benefits to our area. It will create between 500 and 700 jobs as a direct result of construction, and it will support the growth of more than 4,000 jobs in education, health and research in Randwick City," Mayor Nash said.
"But with the benefits also come many challenges and inevitable disruption to residents and businesses. Our plan is to ensure we address these as much as possible.
"I want everyone in Randwick City to know that Council is well aware of the concerns and that we are working hard on developing the right solutions. Although this is a State Government project, not a Council project, we're working with all stakeholders to get the best outcome we can for our City," Mayor Nash said.
At its meeting last night Tuesday 29 April 2014, Council also resolved to conduct a detailed community consultation program each year for the next five years about different components of the light rail support plan.
Council will also establish a Community Light Rail Support Plan Committee comprised of residents, businesses and community groups to give feedback to Council on the implementation of the support plan.
"The community will be fully involved and fully consulted over the next few years, as we plan for the introduction of light rail. Randwick City Council is an award-winning Council because of its well known, genuine commitment to community consultation before we make major decisions.
We'll be talking and meeting with local businesses and residents, to get their ideas on how we can help make light rail a success in our City. I'm looking forward to working constructively with everyone to get the best results", Mayor Nash said.