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The Mac Point Bus That Couldn’t

Today in Parliament, the Premier revealed that the Government’s much-hyped Bus Rapid Transit proposal for the Northern Suburbs Transit Corridor will only use the corridor to New Town, re-joining the traffic on public roads in the suburbs, and going nowhere near Macquarie Point or the CBD.

The Government’s transport policy, such as it is, is in tatters. The Premier seemed caught off-guard, reading a prepared brief that completely missed the question.

What we can now say, is that there is no creditable transport plan for the AFL stadium. How are all the touted thousands of spectators going to get to the stadium?

And I’m sure the residents of New Town and North Hobart are going to have something to say about these transit busses veering off the corridor at Bellevue Parade and trundling along Park Street, Letitia Street, crossing Burnett and going down Campbell Street onto Franklin Square.

Here is the text of the question.

Premier, yesterday on ABC radio you talked up the AFL Deal by saying that, and I quote, “The AFL is just a catalyst for something bigger, the Macquaire Point Precinct which will enable unlocking those public transport opportunities for the Derwent ferries and the northern transit corridor”

Recently I received a briefing from State Growth on progress with the Transit Corridor.

I was dumbfounded when told that the Bus Rapid Transit announced by your Infrastructure Minister, while he was standing at Macquarie Point, would not even go to Macquarie Point!

For a moment I thought it was a joke.

The plan shown to me has the buses diverting off the rail corridor at the hockey grounds onto Park Street, down Letitia, across busy Burnett St, down Campbell Street, up Davey and arrive at Franklin Square – joining, and adding to, the traffic jams in the city. And in fact, not going through or even anywhere near Macquarie Point!

Premier, was Minister Ferguson’s announcement of a BRT just another wild plan drawn up on the back of the envelope, like your stadium?

You would have seen in today’s Mercury Leigh Carmichael’s call for light rail to service the stadium. Unlike your Government, he knows that light rail is truly a catalytic project for the northern suburbs.

Premier, will you fix this disastrous transport plan and actually do the right thing and invest in passenger light rail on the existing rail corridor, to and through Macquarie Point?

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