Proposed light rail “barely twice walking speed”

RUNNING light rail down Hunter Street would “drive a stake through the heart of Newcastle”, an alliance of community groups including Save Our Rail has heard, reports the Newcastle Herald.

More than 300 people packed Newcastle Leagues Club on Monday night as opponents to the state government’s light rail plan vowed to “embarrass” Premier Mike Baird in the lead-up to the federal election.

Several speakers at the forum took aim at the frequency of the trains, journey times, traffic flow, the Wickham to Pacific Park route, the level of community consultation and high-rise development in the former rail corridor.

University of Newcastle Professor Howard Dick claimed that “basic principals” of economics were not being applied to the light rail proposal.

Professor Dick said the government’s own Review of Environmental Factors showed the network was “barely twice walking speed”.

“The way you make public transport a better option for people is you make it cheaper, faster, more frequent, comfortable,” he said.

“The exact opposite is being done here.”

Read the full article in the Newcastle Herald.