Saturday, 8 August 2015

The Riddle of Coogee

What do you get when you vote for an arse-hole licker?

Notley-Smith retained the seat of Coogee for the Liberal party in the state election with the electorate in blissful ignorance of what was planned for their public bus services. I had issued a post before the election warning of what could be deduced from the EIS for Sydney City Centre Bus Infrastructure (Missing in inaction, 16/11/2014). Without any confirmation about the state government's planned bus routes it was not possible for the issue to gain traction in the election campaign. Now everything written in the post has been confirmed.

Elizabeth Street intersection with Hay Street
North Shore politicians have made Bronte the terminus for one of the Paramatta Road bus services. The rebadging of the 378 service to 440 has been used to inexplicably change the route.

The right-hand turn from Elizabeth Street into Hay Street exists solely to give taxis and private vehicles access to the taxi ranks and short-term parking to the west of Central intercity terminal. Unfortunately it also opens up a rat-run to Pitt Street. The right-turn lane is in one of the narrowest sections of Elizabeth Street where arterial traffic branches into Wentworth Avenue - the bus priority lane is discontinued through this section. Buses have never used this right turn in the history of Sydney.

The colonnade was built as an integral part of Central Station, opened in 1902, so that tram movements did not disrupt arterial traffic movements between the Eastern Suburbs and Parramatta Road. For more than 100 years buses have turned from Elizabeth Street into Eddy Avenue to avoid conflicts with tram services and bus services in Castlereagh Street. There is only one conceivable reason for stopping buses from turning here and forcing them to turn into Hay Street. This is in order to obliterate the bus stops adjacent to the entry to Central Electric station, and this is insane.

The bus stops ouside Central Station are among the most heavily used bus stops in Sydney and are crucial to the operation of the public transport system south of the Harbour. The 378 bus services halve the number of buses in Oxford Street that have to pass through the pinch point in Elizabeth Street north-bound. If the passengers who pour out of buses at Eddy Avenue were forced onto the Eastern Suburbs railway they would add the congestion in the elevators and barriers of Town Hall Station.

The 378 buses are the only way of reaching the rail lines for people in Woolahra, Paddington and Darlinghurst - they are the ones to lose the most. Passengers from Bronte can transfer to rail lines at Bondi Junction, at the expense of starting another trip. Once they are on the railway thay can change lines as often as thay like for one trip.
440 route map
378 buses terminate at the spacious layover at Lee Street allowing them to maintain schedules closely. Whatever layovers are available at Roselle, by the time the 440 buses reach Railway Square there will be little semblance to a timetable. There are layovers at Bronte beach but it will be difficult to maintain schedules over long routes facing chronic congestion in Pitt Street.

The bus stop in Hay Street has been obliterated so when the trams are operating passengers will be set down in Rawson Place adjacent to the out-bound tram platform instead of being set down in front of Central Station. This is the last place commuters from Bronte and Woolahra would want to be set down. Anyone wanting to go to Randwick, Prince of Wales Hospital, UNSW or Maroubra Junction would have transfered to a direct bus service from Bondi Junction. Anyone with destinations in the northern CBD would catch a 380 bus.

There is no rhyme or reason for linking Bronte bus services to a tortuous bus route to Roselle or for obliterating the crucial set-down stop in Eddy Avenue. Commuters heading for destinations other than Roselle will have to survive passing through the pincer-movement of death to tranfer to a bus to another destination in the Inner West.

Residents in Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Woolahra, Bondi Junction or Bronte were not consulted or even informed of the dire changes to their public bus services that North Shore rump politicians intended to inflict on them. But Notley-Smith was in on it from day one.

The Member for Maroubra Michael Daley has been vocal in his criticisms of the government. He has said it was outrageous that light rail was being built without detail on long-term bus changes. He said that Mike Baird was "treating people like mugs" for not being transparent about the bus plan.

"The State Government is spending $2.3 billion on a project that's going to have huge changes to the bus network and we are not being told what those changes are", he said.

But there has not been a word from the Member for Coogee - no word of criticism or requests for more information or an explanation of decisions that do not make any sense. His tongue is embedded too far up the North Shore rump for him to have any concern for his constituents in Bronte.

answer: You get treated with contempt.

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