Metro West: Great opportunity to provide for Sydneys growth

30 June 2009

Todays announcement of a proposed route for the Metro West increases opportunities to create new compact, pedestrian friendly mixed-use neighbourhoods around the 11 new train stations, according to the Urban Taskforce.

The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said that the evolution of the Metro West proposal was good news for anyone who cares about Sydneys future.


Sydney has not been coping with the demands placed on its creaking infrastructure by both population growth and demographic change, Mr Gadiel said.


Sydneys population is anticipated to grow by 1.4 million people by 2031.


The Metro West proposal creates an opportunity for more of Sydneys new housing to be accommodated around high quality public transport.


Seven suburbs will, for the first time, have their own local train station.


But the success of this project is not solely dependent on the quality of train stations or the rail lines.


Patronage of the metro system will be strongly influenced by the type of urban development that is allowed in the vicinity of the new metro stations.


Compact, pedestrian-friendly urban communities will be critical to the success of this transport project.


People are far more likely to use the public transport if they live or work within walking distance of a train station.


Compact development around a train station also creates an opportunity for a vibrant street life, including pedestrian-oriented amenities such as retail and cafes.


The international evidence is clear – for every 10 per cent increase in population density there will be a 6 percent increase in patronage through stations.


As soon as the government locks in any location for a metro station, it should immediately move to revise local planning regulations and make sure that the surrounding neighbourhood can have the necessary population densities to make the metro line viable.


The low patronage levels of the Liverpool-to-Parramatta Transit Way are a clear sign of what can occur when the urban planning is not adjusted in parallel with the transport planning.


The recommended station locations for the West Metro are:

  • Sydney University
  • Camperdown
  • Leichhardt
  • Five Dock
  • Burwood
  • Strathfield
  • Sydney Olympic Park
  • Silverwater
  • Camellia
  • Parramatta
  • Westmead


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.


For every $1 million in construction expenditure, 27 jobs are created throughout the broader economy. The construction activity made possible by property developers contributes $69 billion to the national economy each year and creates 709,000 direct jobs. The construction industry is Australias third largest source of employment.



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