Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Shutting down access to Riley Street

Sydney Council released plans to shut down the tortuous but vital route from Liverpool and Goulburn Streets into the Surry Hills grid west of Crown Street on 18th October 2012. A bus shelter with a billboard was to be placed in the roadway, forcing buses to block traffic when discharging and loading passengers, and the crucial right-hand turn into Riley Street was eliminated.

The period for lodging objections ended on 3rd December 2012. Within two weeks of this deadline the State Government released its plans for the Light Rail Project which obliterated the connection between the south end of Riley Street and Crown and Bourke Streets. Riley Street, which is the only street that connects all the roads of Surry Hills West, was to be effectively blocked off at both ends. No one in Surry Hills had been given any inkling of what was planned for them, although the consequences for Residents and Businesses west of Crown Street will be devastating.

Sydney Council staff had been made aware in late 2011 that Transport NSW was considering options for light rail routes. In a written answer to questions from Councillor Scott on 13th May 2013 it was revealed that route options had been discussed by Transport NSW at "Round Tables" held in early 2012. This had not deterred Council from pressing ahead with plans to block access to the northern end of Riley Street. City Council's written response to the questions can be viewed at the People Unite Surry Hills Facebook page.

I lodged an objection to the Council plans for Campbell Street before anyone had any knowledge of the State Government's plans. If interested you can view the letter here.

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