The uncertain future of the Cooks River GreenWay

I recently wrote an e-letter to the NSW Minister for Transport regarding the GreenWay and I’ve written about it before. Briefly it’s a cycling and pedestrian green corridor that will create an important cycle/commuting link between the Inner-West and the city and city-west areas.

I’ve received a response so I thought I’d publish it here on the blog. The Greenway isn’t dead yet, but it also hasn’t been funded. I’m happy the light rail is going ahead but I hope that the GreenWay will be approved too. The fear is that because the light rail has gone ahead it’ll be too costly go then go back and create the GreenWay after the light rain has been done. I’ll be waiting for the Active Transport plan to see if it includes funding and a time for the GreenWay.

What do you think? Poly double-speak or some small sign it might happen?

The NSW Government has allocated $141 million in the 2012−2013 State Budget towards the development of light rail, including continued work on the Inner West Light Rail Extension, as well as the development of a Light Rail Strategic Plan. The Plan will examine the feasibility of extending light rail through the CBD, to the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney.

While I acknowledge your views on the GreenWay, the NSW Government’s decision to defer the GreenWay project was based on significant design issues that would have delayed construction of the Inner West Light Rail Extension.

The NSW Government’s decision will simplify the negotiations and contractual arrangements required to build the light rail extension and will reduce the risk of further delays. It will also ensure the Government can integrate the possible future construction of the GreenWay into a wider active transport network as part of an integrated transport master plan.

In the meantime, the Light Rail Project Team will continue working to deliver the Inner West Light Rail Extension as quickly as possible.


Support for the Greenway

This is a letter to the NSW Premier and Transport Ministor in support of the Cooks River GreenWay. It’s a cycling, walking and green corridor proposed to run along with light rail line from Dulwich Hill to Leichhardt. It would open up more cycling options for this area and provide an important link for cycling commuting between Tempe and Leichhardt and beyond to get more people on bikes and off these congested roads. BUT the state government in all its wisdom has deferred it “indefinitely” because it cites cost and logistics. Yet there’s always money for more roads and more car parking.

To find out more about the GreenWay and how to help campaign go to the Friends of the GreenWay site. It also has an email to send your support.

Dear Premier and Minister, It is appalling that the NSW Government has cut funding of the GreenWay shared pathway and bushland regeneration project in the state budget.

I want to express my strong opposition to this reduction in the NSW Government’s commitment to active transport. The GreenWay is an essential, much wanted and anticipated community asset and is a foremost project in the strategic planning being done in NSW.

The GreenWay will have many advantages including: – Maximising the patronage of the light rail, linking it with regional cycling and walking routes – Providing a regional active transport corridor for the growing (and ageing) local population – Protecting bandicoots an endangered species living in the corridor, and establishing a bush corridor though a highly urbanised part of Sydney – Getting people out of their cars and into sustainable transport, making Sydney a more sustainable city – Providing an opportunity for children to walk or cycle safely to school, with 23 schools within the GreenWay catchment area.

The GreenWay is a once in a generation opportunity that we cannot afford to lose, supported throughout the community. Building the light rail extension alone means the GreenWay may never be built, and will be far more costly than building the original, integrated vision. I urge you to review your decision and reinstate the GreenWay and ensure all the work, both paid and volunteer, that has gone into the project so far over many years and the $1.8m NSW Environmental Trust Grant is not wasted.

So come on, what’s really stopping you supporting the GreenWay?