Parramatta will be connected to light rail within six years.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and minister Andrew Constance were in town on Friday to release the preferred route for stage one of the light rail project between Westmead and Carlingford.
The 12 kilometre line has 16 potential stops at Westmead, Westmead Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Cumberland Hospital, Factory Street, Fennell Street, Prince Alfred Square, Eat Street, Parramatta Square, Harris Street, Tramway Avenue, Camellia, Rydalmere, Dundas, Telopea and Carlingford.
Services will operate from early morning to late at night and run every seven-and-a-half minutes during the day.
Construction will start in 2018 and be completed by 2023.
The network will have a capacity of up to system as a whole to be capable of carrying 10,000 commuters per hour.
Planning work for stage two of the project, from Camellia to Strathfield via Sydney Olympic Park, is being developed in collaboration with Sydney Metro West. Stage two planning work is scheduled to be finalised by the end of the year.
“This is a great day for the government as it gets on with the job to make Parramatta a viable CBD and take this city to the next level,” she said.
“Today demonstrates how far we’ve come.”
Of the 17 properties to will be acquired for the project, 11 are commercial. The government began notifying owners on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Constance refused to disclose their locations, citing privacy reasons.
The state government has allocated $1 billion to the project.
Community and business leaders welcomed the announcement:
Sydney Business Chamber western Sydney director David Borger: “We are pleased the Parramatta Light Rail route now has a timeframe and certainty. This preferred route picks up the major population centres and we will see a wave of new investment following this infrastructure. This project is the next step in transforming Parramatta into a world-class city. Sydney Olympic Park is an important precinct in Sydney and is challenged by an inefficient train service. “The precinct needs both light rail and metro to succeed and we fully support the second stage.”
Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover: “The light rail is game-changing. Up to 25,000 Western Sydney University students and researchers will be connected to the fastest growing CBD in the country – Parramatta – and its surrounding precincts through this network. The rapid exchange of people and ideas this type of infrastructure makes possible is how 'smart city' strategies become a reality."
Parramatta Council administrator Amanda Chadwick: “Council will work closely with the state government to ensure that the next layer of detail for the project is delivered with community expectations in mind. We will be looking for the best results in relation to stop locations, heritage and design excellence. We will be advocating for the first route to be part of a wider network that links Parramatta CBD to other key commuter locations and economic hubs such as Epping and the north west. We look forward to working with the NSW Government to ensure the Parramatta Light Rail fits seamlessly into our city and creates green, liveable streets for Australia’s next great city.”
Greater Sydney Commissioner chief commissioner Lucy Turnbull: “This is a great outcome for people living in the West Central District as well as those working, studying and socialising in this rapidly growing and changing part of our city. This important investment further reinforces GPOP as the true centre of Greater Sydney, anchored by Parramatta CBD and Westmead at its western end. The new 12km of light rail with its 16 stops will add to the ever building momentum to this whole place which has so much going for it.”
Parramatta Light Rail Project director Tom Poole urged everyone to give their feedback on the route.
“Today means we can get on with the job,” he told the Sun.
“It’s an opportunity to the talk to the community in more detail.”
The Environment Impact Statement will go on public exhibition later this year.
- Details: parramattalightrail.nsw.gov.au.