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THE [NSW] State Government will consider keeping the extra bus lanes, bus stops and peak-hour clearways introduced for World Youth Day to tackle the city's worsening traffic congestion.
The Premier, Morris Iemma, said yesterday he wanted a "permanent legacy" from the event and committed to a "mobility summit" to investigate ways to keep more cars off the city's roads and improve public transport.
He said that if cities such as Paris, London and New York could do it, so could Sydney.
He wants peak-hour clearways to remain on Macquarie, King, Market, Bridge and York streets in the central business district and will ask the City of Sydney council to keep the extra bus lanes and bus stops.
"Sydney is Australia's only international city and there will always be heavy traffic peaks … but I want to look at any practical measures that keep the CBD moving smoothly," Mr Iemma said.
The Government would meet the Sydney Chamber of Commerce, the Roads and Traffic Authority, RailCorp, government agencies and large retailers to focus on managing "people movement" in the city...
...Mr Iemma said if the changes to the road and rail network worked for a week, they could work permanently. "There was a 17 per cent drop in the number of vehicles on major arterial Sydney roads during the morning peak," he said. "Within the CBD, the RTA estimates traffic volume was halved on the busiest days."
The Opposition Leader, Barry O'Farrell, said the extra bus and train services should be retained.
"If Morris Iemma and John Watkins could run an additional 460 trains last week, commuters will rightly be asking why they can't do it every week," Mr O'Farrell said.
The managing director of the Tourism and Transport Forum, Christopher Brown, said: "We need to see World Youth Day as a starting point."
For the full story, go to:
The Sydney Morning Herald
July 22, 2008
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