Mandate for the rail

THE attendees at the transport planning forum held last Friday in Newcastle should be congratulated for highlighting wide-ranging problems and solutions. These solutions included the rail bypass support; creating an air-freight centre at Williamtown airport, combined with a freight corridor linking rail services; the speedy completion of the Pacific Highway upgrade; duplicating busy coal lines to the port and many more.

The one item that received wide applause on five occasions, as each table’s suggestions were read to the large audience, was retention of rail to Newcastle. The applause was sustained on five occasions. Anyone who thinks there was not a clear message for retention is in cloud cuckoo land. Newcastle station ranks about 50th out of some 307 stations for patronage. Developers and self-seeking business interests need to realise that they do not have a mandate to tell travellers and residents what transport they must use. They should be lobbying for the airspace above stations to be sold and developed.

Gary Foster, Adamstown

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