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Basil Cameron suggests light rail is an option for the disused rail corridor.(Letters, June 28) Light rail is not much lighter than the railcar used by Elements of Byron, but it has a narrower gauge. So it would cost even more than restoring the existing line, because in addition to clearing vegetation, repairing ballast and renewing bridges, the standard gauge track would need to be replaced.
Light rail suffers the same disadvantage as regular rail, it provides a limited service on a rigid timetable, which doesn’t meet the transport needs of most people in our community. Nor is it any use to those tourists who arrive by car or bus and want to explore the region beyond the rail corridor.
Our ineffable TOOT activists don’t seem to realize that bikes are an efficient and eco-friendly form of transport. When someone chooses to get around on a bike instead of in a car, they help reduce pollution and relieve congestion on the roads. Improving conditions for cyclists thus benefits the whole community.
Louise Doran fears rail trail supporters want to ‘rip up’ the rails. But she need not worry. In NSW, the rails cannot be removed without an Act of Parliament, and anyway it isn’t necessary.
Once the vegetation has been cleared, the track only needs to be covered with a suitable surfacing material. When the trail is open for public use, with access points and rest areas along its route, it will provide a viable transport solution for many locals, especially now given the advent of electric bikes.
This article first appeared on www.echo.net.au
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