|Belmore Road Randwick Civic Centre|
Randwick and Coogee have the best and most efficient Public Bus Services in NSW, and they ain't broke. Public transport to beach suburbs is never commercial because they lack a hinterland to feed transport into the routes. When these public bus services were under threat by plans to narrow Flinders Street to one lane each way and then to close the exclusive bus road, people in Surry Hills and Woolloomoloo, including myself, rallied to maintain these services.
Now O'Farrell will be spending $1.6 billion on a tram Project that must close down bus services through the Randwick retail and civic centre in order to have a business plan.
Hospitals do not care for patients just from 9 to 5 and must roster staff though out the day. Visiting hours are not scheduled for the morning or evening transport peaks. Currently transport for the Prince of Wales hospital is met by bus services using rolling stock that would otherwise be idle and by drivers that must be rostered on either side of the morning and evening peaks, defraying the losses that would otherwise be incurred.
Passengers from the hospital currently cross High Street and use bus stops in the Belmore Road retail strip, generating much of the pedestrian traffic and business that these retail outlets rely upon. The tram system is designed to divert passengers away from the established civic centre strip.
We are told that trams will be arriving at the terminus every two or three minutes during the morning peak, regardless of how many passengers can be herded onto them, simply because they can only turn around at the terminuses. To achieve this there will need to be two tram rails crossing Avoca Street into the Randwick Triangle park, and there will need to be a rail for trams entering the park to pass trams waiting to exit the terminus. The rails in the park will be presumably be in the form of a tuning fork with the actual tram stop in the south east corner. Passengers using the trams will not go near the retail centre, and the next stop will be in Wansey Road adjacent to the horse stables.
The design of the Randwick terminus provides insight into the length of the cattle cars. Clearly the length of the carriages is in no way related to the passenger loadings that the cattle cars will ever carry. Transport for NSW has simplistically made them as long as possible so they can chant infantile slogans like "the service can carry up to 9,000 people per hour in each direction". So why not make them the length of say 10 buses, then they would not have to be coupled together to shuttle between the underground events platform at Moore Park and Chalmers Street, "back and forth, back and forth". The answer is that the rails in the Randwick Triangle must be more than the length of two cattle cars. There is currently no right-hand turn from High Street into Avoca Street, and the tram tracks will entrench this. To turn right traffic must use the Cuthill Road slingshot using the curved lane at the south-east corner of the triangle. This presumably is what set the length of the cattle cars.