Light rail plans rumble on

capital metro feature crop

SIMON Corbell says planning approvals lodged for stage one of Canberra’s light rail network capture the ACT Government’s vision of improved urban design with a safe and accessible customer experience along the corridor.

“Applications have been submitted to the National Capital Authority and the Environmental and Planning Directorate for works to be carried out from the City to Gungahlin that show better access for visitors to significant entertainment venues like EPIC and Thoroughbred Park with design changes along Flemington Road to provide a safe zone for passengers and door-to-door access at the EPIC entrance,” Simon said.

“This milestone for the light rail project paves the way for Canberra Metro to begin construction in mid-2016.

“These designs capture our vision which encourages an urban design, and provides a safe and accessible customer experience along the corridor.

“The amendment to the design for the EPIC stop is a result of innovation from Canberra Metro that will provide better access to event destinations in the middle of the stage one route.

“By having a larger stop positioned to the side of the road rather than in the median at this location we will be able to facilitate large volumes of passengers in comfort and safety to events at these locations, like the Canberra Show, Summernats, the National Folk Festival, and the Lifeline Book Fair.

“The Development Application (DA) for stage 1, which was lodged with EPD on 23 October 2015 and approved on 21 December 2015, has been resubmitted with amendments related to the design enhancements made by the Canberra Metro consortium.

“These proposed amendments also include minimal changes to landscaping of the light rail depot, substations and construction compounds, as well as minor adjustments to kerbs, roads, and pedestrian areas.

“The Works Approval application submitted to the NCA covers the proposed works along the Federal Highway and Northbourne Avenue corridors, between Flemington Road and London Circuit.

“The WA also takes into account Canberra Metro’s plans for the staged removal and replacement of trees along the route. The considered approach will mean as sections of trees are removed, and replaced with 4m tall plantings, there will only be periods of 3-4 months where each section will be without trees.

“We know that Canberrans have strong feelings about the entryway to Canberra retaining its boulevard aesthetic and that is why we asked the bidding consortia to consider a staged approach.

“This staged approach by Canberra Metro will mean that most of the route along Northbourne Avenue and the Federal Highway will remain tree-lined for most of the construction period, with only individual sections being bare for 3-4 months at a time.

“To ensure the safety of pedestrians and motorists, the WA application notes changes to traffic arrangements along the corridor including removal of a right hand turn on Rudd Street off Northbourne Avenue, and a number of new signalised intersections along Northbourne Avenue.

Community members are invited to have their say on the works approval and proposed amendments from 18 February 2016 to 18 March 2016.

To provide comment on the Works Approval application visit the NCA website at www.nationalcapital.gov.au and to provide feedback on the Development Application amendments visit the EPD website at planning.act.gov.au.

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