9 October 2020
Inner West and Canterbury-Bankstown Residents Renew Calls to Stop Metro
The Sydenham to Bankstown Alliance (SBA) is disappointed at the State Government’s decision to ignore the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry’s recommendation to not proceed with Metro Southwest.
The NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro agreed with the SBA submission that the benefits of converting an existing railway were overstated.
Despite the Inquiry making 9 recommendations including the full release of the business case for Sydenham to Bankstown Metro and the ongoing Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigation into property developments dealings in the area, the SBA is alarmed at the State Government’s continued secrecy through a refusal to release the document.
SBA spokesperson Barbara Coorey said that residents also remain concerned that Metro Southwest will remove direct access to the City Circle, Redfern/Sydney University, St Peters, Erskineville as well as stations west of Bankstown including Lidcombe and Liverpool.
“The evidence presented to ICAC and the government’s defiance of the Parliamentary Inquiry further suggests that the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro is about benefiting property developers and overseas investors instead of improving our public transport.”
“Spending billions to downgrade Sydenham to Bankstown’s existing train service is simply a misuse of taxpayers’ money especially when more cost-effective options of signalling upgrades are being introduced on other parts of the Sydney Trains Network.”
“The business case summary severely underplays the costs to local businesses and inconvenience caused to commuters being forced onto buses during construction of the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro.”
Transport for NSW has announced plans to run trains every 2 minutes on the existing heavy rail Airport and Illawarra lines as part of the Sydney Trains Network through signalling upgrades but has only promised Metro services every 4 minutes for Bankstown.
Existing double-deck Sydney Trains have more seats and capacity compared to Sydney Metro especially during the COVID pandemic where social distancing is required.
The SBA has renewed its calls for the Metro to end at Sydenham.
“The SBA is convinced that for people living in the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor that the best transport outcome would be for the Metro to stop at Sydenham and the existing rail line to continue service through to the City Circle, and any funding be used to provide new services to areas currently without rail access in Sydney’s south or south-east.”
“The Bankstown Line does not have the patronage demand to support Metro and yesterday’s decision to refuse to release the full business case indicates that the State Government is cooking the books to make the project stack up in order to push over-development in our community”, Ms Coorey said.
The Sydenham to Bankstown Alliance represents concerned residents, environmental, and public transport advocates along the T3 Bankstown Line.