Tuesday, 6 October 2015

"Such a little thing"

Chris (Grid) Lock expounds
Chris Lock occupies a unique place in the annals of the Australian public services: he is the first senior public servant to be stood down for incompetence. In true "Utopia" style his post Deputy Director General Projects Division Transport for NSW was obliterated. He had been in the public service for 10 years so he will be on a massive taxpayer-funded pension.

Everything at TfNSW was deferred to the Acting Secretary Tim Reardon whose post has since been made the permanent.

Chris Lock told a self-proclaimed businessmen's Breakfast in Randwick in April 2013: "There's a queue of buses coming over the Harbour Bridge all trying to get into York Street around Wynyard and they back up and the queue sometimes starts on the northern side. So what have we done? A little thing.

"We have moved 60 of those buses in the morning: instead of coming into Wynyard they go over the Cahill Expressway and they come into the City from the  Macquarie Street end. It is such a little thing."

He was reiterating a claim made in the December 2012 brochure. In fact it never took place. The bus stop on the southern side of Bridge Street where Miller Street bus services will dump their passengers remained derelict until 4 October 2015. The staff at the TfNSW information booths did not have a clue as to what Chris Lock was talking about. A decision had been made to not show their hand until the last possible time. Chris Lock was complicit in this decision and became a total recluse - he had too much to hide.

A devastating thing

TfNSW were not disclosing things with much more devastating consequences. A post The Hills hoist with their own petard 26 November 2014 discussed this issue.

For 83 years the George Street buses have protected the Bradfield rail lines under the CBD from overloading. The most overloaded station in the City Circle has long been Town Hall Station which has consequences for the entire rail system south of the Harbour. The City Circle is in fact an horseshoe with Illawarra/Airport line services transmogrifying into western line services as they pass around. Passengers that get on to travel one or two stops deny places for the commuters that rely on the rail network to access the CBD. This affects the efficacy of train services throughout the entire rail system.

When TfNSW terminated Northern Beaches bus services at Wynyard in November 2014 and then terminated Hills buses at Bathurst Street or Druitt Street at the end of January 2015 the effects on the rail system were muted. Commuters could transfer to Parramatta Road and City Road bus services in George Street.
Kent Street at Town Hall
Bathurst St bus stop

Buses from the Harbour Bridge that dump their passengers at the bus stop in the lower part of Bathurst Street west of Sussex Street (yellow line) and the Miller Street buses that dump their passengers in the middle of Bridge Street (brown line) are the only buses that will ever be removed from York Street and Clarence Street. Commuters dumped in Bathurst Street have nowhere to go but up the hill to the entry plaza of Town Hall Station where they will flood onto the overcrowded escalators of the station to go one stop to Central in order to access the Parramatta Road and City Road bus services that have been removed from George Street.

Turning back the Hillsbillies

Kent St north of Druitt stop
Buses that dump their passengers in Bathurst Street pass over "Napoleon Plaza" at a great height on the Western Distributor. They are then forced to turn immediately into Kent Street and make their way back to whence they came, Napoleon Plaza, before exiting back onto the Bradfield Highway. This is just plain loopy.

Whether the Hills buses are terminated at Bathurst Street or Druitt Street the buses will never be able to maintain a schedule after 4 October 2015. The first bus stop after Bathurst Street is some distance north of Druitt Street. None of the bus stops in Kent Street have timetables, just numbers to call-stations or web sites to call on your mobile phone; a wise decision.

When a bus enters the chain of freeways, road tunnels and toll roads starting from the Bradfield Highway there is no getting off until the stop at Bathurst Street. The entry point for express services could be the M2 motorway. Hillsbus passengers will have to make their decision to jump buses early in the journey.

Western Distributor over Westpac Plaza/Napoleon Plaza
The Opal card is allowing free transfers between bus services within an hour of taping off a service but you need to make your move at the earliest possible stop. If you delay transferring, the bus services to your prized destination will be packed to the rafters and skipping stops.

Bathurst Street is the last place anyone would want to be dumped. Even if you are heading for a destination south of Park Street, the terminus in York Street at the Queen Victoria Building is closer to Town Hall Station than the stop in Bathurst Street, and you have a much better chance of getting on a City Circle train by transfering at Wynyard Station.

Doing a U-turn into Clarence Street
The congestion from buses doing a U-turn from York into Clarence Street is paralytic as predicted but this is of no concern when you have gotten off the bus; just remenber to board the bus in Clarence Street for the return journey. This congestion is occuring before the penny drops for commuters on how to survive in a city that has entered a death spiral. This congestion will be getting progressively worse for the future life of the city.

Update on Napoleon Street pedestrian bridge

Taxpayer-funded Sussex Street overpass
Westpac Plaza under the Westpac building in Kent Street, the exit for the original Kent Street pedestrian tunnel, has been connected to the Lendlease Napoleon Street overpass. The taxpayer-funded overpass across Sussex Street appears to be complete but has not been opened to the public. The Kent Street pedestrian tunnel is just a deep excavation.

1 comment:

  1. Aren't you tired of being completely wrong about everything? You're enormously amusing, if nothing else.