Willoughby City Council today called on the NSW Government to investigate public transport alternatives to the Beaches Link project, in the wake of news that the government had set aside just $1.05m to continue planning the project in its 2022/23 Budget.
Willoughby City Mayor Tanya Taylor said the Beaches Link project should not proceed in its current form, due to its significant environmental, human health, noise, vibration and traffic congestion impacts.
Ms Taylor said concerns about the existing project included:
- Adverse environmental and health impacts both during construction and operationally including from disturbance of contamination at Bicentennial Reserve, Flat Rock Gully and Middle Harbour
- The loss of large areas of bushland
- Impacts on residential amenity during construction due to noise, congestion, vibration
- The movement of heavy vehicles and reduced access to Middle Harbour; and
- The project’s reliance on outdated traffic modelling which fails to take into account a range of issues, including COVID-19 and the operation of the B-line and Metro City and Southwest, along with the planned rapid bus service from Dee Why to Chatswood.
Given this, Ms Taylor said the government should cease work on the current proposed project.
Ms Taylor said Council had resolved that it would prefer an investigation into public transport alternatives, including an underground link between the Frenchs Forest growth centre and the Chatswood interchange.
“The fact that the NSW Government has effectively pressed pause on this proposal, by allocating only a small amount for planning in its 2022/23 budget, makes it the perfect time to examine a public transport alternative,” she said.
“The Council has just completed community engagement on its short and long-term planning documents, where there was overwhelming support for increased public transport services and the concept of a sustainable, liveable and connected city.
“Given this, Willoughby City is concerned about the current Beaches Link project which will entrench car dependence and cause a range of related environmental and amenity impacts on our local community during the construction and operational phase.
“A much better option would be to create a new public transport route out of the Northern Beaches, which would link to the existing Chatswood interchange.
“Journey to work data suggests that such an alternative would help Northern Beaches residents get to work, while at the same time strengthen Chatswood’s city centre.”
Caption: Willoughby City Mayor Tanya Taylor is calling on the NSW Government to consider public transport alternatives to the Beaches Link project.