SIMON Corbell says the ACT economy will lose up to $419 million a year in avoidable social congestion costs by 2030 if we don’t take action now, according to a report released by the federal government.
“The Traffic and congestion cost trends for Australian capital cities report, released by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, was further evidence that business as usual wasn’t an option for transport in Canberra,” Simon said.
“The ACT Government is building a modern public transport network that will help tackle the ever increasing congestion that is already costing our city hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
“By integrating light rail with buses the ACT Government is delivering a modern, efficient, reliable and attractive option that will help get people out of their cars and on to public transport.
“The evidence is absolutely clear and that is we can’t afford to continue down the same path we always have and expect this growing problem to go away. At upwards of $400 million a year the cost of doing nothing is far too high.
“The ACT Labor government has set out a 25-year plan to deliver light rail across Canberra. We are serious about tackling congestion because not acting would be economically irresponsible.”
This latest report follows a recent Infrastructure Australia report that estimated the cost of congestion in Canberra would rise to $700 million a year by 2031.
“Stage one of Canberra’s light rail network, from Gungahlin to City, will help ease congestion on the traffic corridor rated as the worst in Canberra by Infrastructure Australia,” Mr Corbell said.
“It will support 3,500 jobs during construction alone and will help transform the gateway to Canberra.”