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THERE are concerns that Strathfield will miss out on being included in a planned light rail network.
Rumours have surfaced that the state government has scrapped a proposed link between Sydney Olympic Park and Strathfield as part of the second stage of the Parramatta Light Rail.
People living around Strathfield, North Strathfield and Homebush who had thought that tram stops could be built in their suburbs, have been worried for more than 18 months about the effects the light rail line would have on property values and house sales.
In December 2015, former Premier Mike Baird revealed that as part of a western Sydney tram network, a line would run from the train station at Strathfield to Olympic Park, possibly via North Strathfield.
The “preferred route” of the Parramatta Light Rail Network when it was announced by the state government in December, 2015.But a Channel 9 news report last week suggested that the line could end up servicing Wentworth Point and Newington instead.
Doubts about the future of the tram line from Olympic Park to Strathfield arose after Transport for NSW announced it was drawing up plans for Sydney Metro West, a metro-style rail line from the CBD to Parramatta, via the Bays Precinct.
Even though stops for Metro West have not been announced, it has been suggested that the line for the driverless trains will clash with plans for the tram line.
Yesterday however, a statement from Transport for NSW said a stop for Strathfield was still on the drawing board.
Stage 1 of the Parramatta Light Rail network will run from Westmead to Carlingford, via Parramatta CBD.“Planning work for stage 2 of the light rail network — from Camellia to Strathfield via Sydney Olympic Park — is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017,” a spokesman said.
“This planning is being done with other government agencies and transport projects including the Sydney Metro West.”
To add to the confusion Burwood Council is now lobbying to have a Metro stop in its area.
Opposition transport spokeswoman and State Labor MP for Strathfield, Jodi McKay, said yesterday that the people of Strathfield, Homebush and North Strathfield have been in a holding pattern for 18 months waiting on certainty around transport routes.
“The government also rushed through the Parramatta Road Renewal Plan without the light rail in it to give certainty to developers rather than the community,” Ms McKay said.
“This has been a disaster for those communities who do not understand what is happening. This has been done without any confirmation of the Metro West stops.”
An artist’s impression of a Sydney West Metro train going to Parramatta.Ms McKay said the upgrade of North Strathfield station is also effected because of the uncertainty over whether it could be a stop on the light rail route.
A decision on the final route of stage 2 of Parramatta Light Rail is expected by the end of the year.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Transport Minister Andrew Constance (left) Liberal MP for Parramatta Geoff Lee announce details of Stage 1 of the Parramatta Light Rail network.The first stage of the network will connect Parramatta and Westmead to Carlingford via Camellia with construction beginning next year.
Trams will begin rolling by 2023.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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