Open letter to the Precinct Office holders of Randwick City Council
From Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson
I don’t normally challenge the public views of our hard working elected local Precinct officers but in this case I feel that I have no alternative because the facts being presented are so wrong. “R Mackenzie, Kensington” (presumably Ms Rosemary MacKenzie) had a letter to the editor titled “Low Expectations” in the 15th April 2014 edition of the Southern Courier.
This letter undermines confidence in the passenger carrying capacity of the planed CSELR light rail system from the Sydney CBD to Randwick and Kingsford – but her maths are actually wrong.
She attempts to discredit the State Government’s claim that their light rail cars will carry 300 passengers each and claims that it will be significantly less. She does this by referring to (but not quoting from) an early pre-feasibility study done not by the Government but by Randwick City Council, UNSW and the Australian Turf Club’s Randwick Racecourse.
This study of 2011 that she bases her calculations on would indeed have had to adopt a hypothetical passenger capacity for light rail cars – but only as a research assumption for the purposes of the time. That figure used back then by the three local bodies has no link to the present day State Government’s flagged operational decision to purchase 300 passenger capacity vehicles – and 300 is the number of passengers that they will carry.
She also does not remind readers that enough bus services will be kept running to carry an additional 6,000 passengers. Therefore at commencement the hybrid bus/light rail system will not carry a meagre “4800 passengers” in one direct as she asserts but a total of 12,000 – even with just 20 light rail services an hour.
Is this enough at commencement or should the light rail services be pushed up to 30? No, because it won’t be necessary at this time. The Randwick prefeasibility study showed that there were around 10,000 bus passengers moving through Anzac Parade at peak hour. Therefore at commencement the bus/light rail system will have excess capacity by 2,000 per hour.
Ms Mackenzie, is known to be the respected secretary of a local precinct committee, so her opinion carries a lot weight in the community, the same way mine does as a Councillor. But she helps no one by getting these figures so wrong. She would be helping residents more by joining with the Council and the Greens in pushing the Minister to fix specific design flaws such as rerouting the lines through the racecourse rather than Wansey Road and leaving High Cross Park alone.
She should also be supporting the Council’s intention to implement angle parking and parking stations to assist residents in transitioning to the CSLER as the new public transport system.
Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson