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COULD this be the answer to the lower north shore’s traffic woes?
The Sydney Metro is planned to start running through the area in 2024 with new stations at North Sydney and Crows Nest.
Choked up Military and Spit roads won’t experience much relief in this round of Metro construction.
But transport planners have revealed that designs are being created to allow for a future expansion of the network.
The planned station at North Sydney called Victoria Cross. Picture: SuppliedThe original idea was to create stub tunnels near the North Sydney Metro station called Victoria Cross.
This was scrapped as it would have limited any potential future extension to this location.
“Instead, engineering solutions are being incorporated into the design of the new twin tunnels to allow for any future potential extension,” a Transport for NSW spokeswoman said.
It is not known where any future Metro line would run but it could potentially be towards Mosman and on to the northern beaches, experts say.
North Sydney Council said it was aware of the replacement of the stub tunnels with “flexible tunnel wall” elements in the plans.
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The council said this would allow a connection to be made to the current proposed Metro line, if a Northern Beaches Metro extension was investigated.
An artist’s impression of the new Metro trains. Picture: SuppliedThe council’s director of city strategy Joseph Hill said the council supported public transport infrastructure that reduced car reliance.
“There is also strong community support for reducing the impact of traffic on Military Rd. This, in turn, would benefit the revitalisation of the Neutral Bay and Cremorne villages,” he said.
“Whether a Metro link were to run beneath Military Rd or follow an alternative alignment (e.g. Chatswood-Dee Why via the Northern Beaches Hospital), the provision of such a link between the northern beaches and global Sydney would reduce the impact of traffic on Military Rd centres and surrounding communities.”
The council said it would support further investigation of a Northern Beaches Metro extension in preference to the Northern Beaches motorway tunnel or the B-Line bus corridor from the beaches to the CBD.
North Sydney MP Trent Zimmerman supports rail. Photo: Adam WardThe potential for a Metro link under Military Rd has the support of North Sydney federal MP Trent Zimmerman.
“I strongly support looking at extending Metro under Military Rd,” he said. “This is an unbearably congested road and rail services would provide residents with an alternative way to get to the city.
“I would urge the State Government to look at this as a short to medium term option rather than one in the distant future.”
The region is the focus of several major potential and ongoing State Government construction projects.
An investigation is taking place into a road tunnel to bypass Spit and Military roads.
Officially called the Northern Beaches Link, it received a pledge of $17 million in the State Budget to investigate soil and rock conditions.
The B-Line is a multimillion-dollar transport project for the area. It aims to improve the commute from the northern beaches to the CBD by bus.
There will be bus stops from Mona Vale to Neutral Bay and hundreds of new commuter parking spaces.
The Metro is planned to run under Sydney Harbour. Picture: SuppliedMeanwhile, planning is at an advanced stage for the Sydney Metro on the lower north shore.
The government is buying properties in Crows Nest and North Sydney to make way for the stations. Construction is expected to start next year.
Excavation is planned to start at both sites in 2018 and the tunnel-boring machine will pass through the area in 2019. Testing begins in 2022.
Sydney Metro is Australia’s biggest public transport project. It will see new rail lines running from north west to south west Sydney under the harbour.
It will have the capacity to run a metro train every two minutes each way under Sydney CBD.
Planning is also in line for a Parramatta link.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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