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NORTHERN Sydney councils have urged the State Government to build a light-rail line between the booming residential and employment hub of Chatswood and the northern beaches, completing a project the Greiner government proposed in 1990.
In its submission to the Herald-backed inquiry into public transport, the Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils also backs a second harbour crossing to allow extra CityRail services for the north shore and north-western suburbs.
The council body has ''resolved to fight the most recent changes in transport proposals by the State Government, specifically the cancellation of the north-west, south-west lines and Epping-to-Parramatta links and the proposal for the CBD Metro to Rozelle'', the submission says.
The organisation's president, the Willoughby Mayor, Pat Reilly, said: ''The suggestions we're putting forward are not simply about our own backyard. We are a key corridor for the city, linking people - including those from the Central Coast and north-west - to jobs and services.''
The organisation has also recommended a north-west rail or metro line; completion of the Parramatta-to-Chatswood rail link; transport improvements for the Military Road/Spit Bridge, Victoria Road, Pennant Hills Road and Pacific Highway corridors; and upgraded rail services to the Central Coast and Newcastle.
The submission says the city needs a transport plan that is ''independently governed'' so governments cannot use public transport to reward electorates that support them in elections.
The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils says transport planning has been "captured" by the NSW Treasury department and the Roads and Traffic Authority.
''Governments have become increasingly reluctant to invest in urban infrastructure, and there have been few deliverable results in infrastructure investment or sustainability,'' its submission says.
It also says there is an unfair distribution of public transport across the greater metropolitan area: ''This inequity is not a simple east-west divide … a larger proportion of disadvantaged groups in western Sydney are at risk of transport-related social exclusion.''
Sydney Morning Herald
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