Improving Public & Private Transport in the Southern Highlands

What train schedules work for our communities? How do we leverage electric cars and bicycles? 

While there are always ways to improve things, the service level of our current public transport network matches or exceeds those in the rest of regional NSW. That said, we can probably do a better job promoting our existing public transport network.

Plans are in place to cope with the expected increase in private vehicles through and around the region, but the development of this infrastructure is subject to demand and available funding.

The most immediate infrastructural road related change could be to make all Hume Highway on-off ramps bi-directional in order to avoid traffic bottlenecks to/from the region.

For rail the most immediate way to improve our transport system seems to be scheduling additional “Express” trains to/from Sydney at peak commute times.

We can expect an increasingly rapid growth in electric powered vehicle ownership over the next few years. Electric vehicle (EV) owners will be seeking recharging stations, so we need to decide when and where to embrace this change.

There are other types of electricity-powered transport besides cars.

  • Starting at $3000A, solar-powered tuk tuks can travel 100km between charges at up to 50km per hour.
  • Various types of electric-powered two-wheelers are available in various price ranges – scooters, push-bikes, and treadmill-like “walking” cycles.

A key question is how safe the roads are in our region for smaller electricity-powered transport options.

Road safety is already an issue for road cycling enthusiasts and mountain bikers.

Given that the Southern Highlands is a well-regarded road cycling and mountain bike destination, what are the financial benefits of completing an off-highway network of safe cycling tracks in the region? And should these tracks provide for small electric powered vehicles as well?

Transport Sector Summary: Oct 2015

Transport Sector Summary: July 2015

Where we want to be by 2031

Transport Networks

  • Prioritise improved, environmentally sensitive public and private transport both within and between villages and towns (2031-People-2.3.3)
  • Wingecarribee is linked by an integrated and efficient transport network (2031-Places-3.1)
  • Provide convenient, affordable, and high speed public transport to major urban centres outside Wingecarribee Shire (2031-Places-3.1.1)
  • Connect towns, villages and employment centres with efficient public transport networks that are affordable, convenient, flexible, and comfortable (2031-Places-3.1.2)
  • Provide comfortable and efficient transport interchanges at transport nodes (2031-Places-3.1.3)
  • Provide safe and efficient road, cycle, and where appropriate, walking paths between/within towns and villages, and convenient parking areas for cars and bicycles. Ideally, all road reserves to provide for safe walking and cycling (2031-Places-3.1.4)
  • Encourage cycling and walking (2031-Places-3.1.5)
  • Encourage development that will increase the viability of public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure (2031-Places-3.1.6)
  • Maximise the efficiency of freight transport through and within the area to encourage activities which will use rail, provide local employment and minimise impact on the Shire’s roads and residents (2031-Places-3.1.7)
  • Transport – Good market access is essential for regional economies to prosper. Effective transport networks provide access to basic services such as health care and education. (RDA Table-SH)
  • South East Area Transport Strategy (SEATS) and South East Regional Organisation of Councils (SEROC). We are active members of SEATS and SEROC, both engaged in transport policy development and lobbying. (RDA Table-SH)

Electric Powered Vehicles

  • Electric Cars – Work With Main Brands – Tesla, Nissan, Toyota, etc. (WSC Environ)
  • Electric Buses – Vans – Other (WSC Environ)
  • EV Recharging Points (WSC Environ)
  • Electric Tuk Tuks (NAF)

Cycling

  • Cycling Infrastructure (2031-Places-3.1.5)
  • Electric Pushbikes (WSC Environ)

Rail

  • High Speed Rail (Federal Govt)

Walking

  • Walking Infrastructure (2031-Places-3.1.5)

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