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Opposition against the truncation of the Maitland-Newcastle rail line at Wickham is mounting with Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery labelling it a "cheap, second rate option" that will create traffic chaos.
Ms Hornery said the government's plan would create severe congestion and angry motorists for the sake of developers who claim they cannot redevelop the precinct with the rail line in place.
She said the impact on popular restaurant strip Beaumont Street would be diabolical.
If the government had conducted a comprehensive traffic study of the impact on Stewart Avenue, Station Street, Railway Street and Beaumont Street it would show motorists would be gridlocked and Beaumont Street would not cope with the added pressure, Ms Hornery said.
"It is not a solution to add more time to motorists' journeys and put more vehicles on the road because rail is no longer an easy transport option - it will clog the city and it is unacceptable," she said.
"The government's proposal shows they don't care about the gridlock they create - especially on Beaumont Street - it's already very difficult to find a park as it is.
"Gridlock is not going to help businesses in Beaumont Street, and closing the street because of the increased danger of the rail crossing is not going to help them either - it will destroy the street."
Ms Hornery said cutting the line went against every transport study that had been conducted worldwide and it was common knowledge that rail was the biggest people mover.
"Developers have incorporated the rail line into shopping centres and hotels in other parts of the world and we need to be looking at what other countries have done and adopting their ideas."
She questioned Landcom's briefing with Newcastle City Council on Tuesday night, saying other groups with an interest in the line also deserved to be included.
"The whole community wants to have a say on the needs of our public transport system and they should be able to have that," she said.
"Newcastle MP Tim Owen and Landcom have taken ownership over this and are acting as though they are entitled to make the decisions.
"The decision for the past 40 years has been that the rail line is the most effective and most environmentally friendly method of transport."
This article first appeared on www.maitlandmercury.com.au
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