Earlier this week the Sydney Morning Herald reported on the State Government’s imminent plans to extend clearways on Sydney’s most congested roads to include weekends.
The report tells us that there are up to 200,000 more cars on Sydney’s roads on Saturday mornings when compared with weekday mornings, and less people are using public transport. This has led to traffic chaos across the weekend on some of Sydney’s key arterials such as Victoria Rd, Parramatta Rd, Military Rd and Bondi Rd, to name a few.
The proposal to remove on-street parking will anger local businesses that insist their customers need a place to leave their cars while they shop. Pre-empting this backlash, the Roads Minister Duncan Gay has already slated plans to construct parking facilities using a combination of tax payer revenue, parking levies and contributions from the local businesses; an approach that is sure to enflame tensions with the local provedores.
Predictably, Opposition Leader John Robertson has criticized the strategy, suggesting that it is a ‘half-baked’ plan. He pointed to the desperate need to improve NSW transport network.
The NSW Coalition will have thought long and hard about this potentially unpopular, but ultimately necessary parking ban. Their Victorian colleagues reversed a similar decision taken by that state’s previous government to extend clearway conditions to weekends. In a 2010 media release, the new government described their decision to reverse the weekend ban as much needed relief from “onerous and damaging clearway restrictions”.
We have personally experienced the improvements to the trip from the Spit Bridge up to Mosman on weekend afternoons in the summer months when clearways apply!
Time will tell.