The "car as the sole focus of transport is past its use-by date" ... Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian. Photo: David Tease
NEW motorways in Sydney need to have public transport options built in, the Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, said on Wednesday night.
In an apparent rejection of the direction of rival government body Infrastructure NSW, Ms Berejiklian declared the ''car as the sole focus of transport is past its use-by date''.
Ms Berejiklian used an address to the Sydney Institute to outline her rationale for increased investment in public transport infrastructure, including a second rail crossing for Sydney Harbour.
She said most modern economic analyses of public transport did not fully capture its benefits, and cities such as Los Angeles, built around the car, were having to change.
''Globally, we are seeing the resurgence of public transport because of its positive economic and social benefits,'' the minister said.
''The car as the sole focus of transport is past its use-by date. Motorways are important, and relevant, and improving them is necessary … But new motorways must consider public transport connections and the opportunity to allow rapid bus transit or other transport options as part of the construction.''
Motorways such as the M4, M5 and M2 have been built without dedicated public transport infrastructure.
In emphasising public transport, and the importance of another rail crossing for Sydney Harbour, the minister's speech departed from Infrastructure NSW's strategy which said another crossing was not needed for decades.
''Sydney's rail future includes a second harbour crossing which will increase capacity on every current line by up to 60 per cent,'' Ms Berejiklian said. ''A second tunnel will benefit everyone who uses public transport and our road network.''
The Infrastructure NSW strategy stressed the continued primacy of the car in Sydney, and said that plans to shift to much greater public transport use were not realistic.
Ms Berejiklian, who outlined her efforts to reduce the cost of public transport services in Sydney, said the biggest reforms would come in rail.