LETTER: Light rail stuck in the tunnel / Wickham interchange not so seamless

A great letter by Andrew Amos of Vacy was published by the Newcastle Herald.

HUNTER residents could be excused for being a little sceptical about whether light rail will ever be delivered.

Since the December 2012 rail truncation announcement, the publicity about Wickham interchange has described it as an ‘‘integrated transport solution’’, ‘‘state-of-the-art’’, ‘‘a multi-modal hub’’ and,  to quote Minister for the Hunter Gladys Berejiklian in July this year, as providing ‘‘seamless connections for customers catching trains, buses, light rail and taxis’’.

The interchange submissions and determination reports released last week present a different picture.

The submissions report says the interchange ‘‘provides for interchange between heavy rail, taxis, private vehicles [kiss and ride] and the future light rail project’’.

No longer is there mention of connection with local buses.

The determination report concludes that inclusion of a ‘‘dedicated off-street bus interchange  is not viable’’.

So we are not getting the promised fully integrated, state-of-the-art, multi-modal interchange providing seamless connections between all transport modes.

Bus connection is to be at existing bus stops on nearby Hunter Street.

For most suburban destinations, this will involve walking to, and crossing, Hunter Street and waiting in exposed kerbside shelters in all weather.

If an integrated bus interchange is now ‘‘not viable’’, how long before we are similarly told light rail too is not viable?

Read the letter at the Newcastle Herald.