Hunter light rail plan suggested

A MAITLAND councillor has flagged a light rail system linking Lake Macquarie to Newcastle, Port Stephens, Maitland and the Coalfields.

Ray Fairweather was speaking this week on Maitland City Council’s submission to the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan when he raised the issue of a complex light rail system for the Hunter.

He said a network linking Newcastle Airport at Williamtown to Nelson Bay, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Cessnock and Maitland would be a transport boon for the growing region.

‘‘I’d also like to see the old Oakhampton railway station reopened as part of the network to service the growing Oakhampton and Aberglasslyn communities,’’ Cr Fairweather said.

He called on Maitland mayor Peter Blackmore, who is also chairman of the Hunter Infrastructure Fund, to look into his suggestion.

Transport NSW has released a discussion paper to prompt debate and seek input on what people in the state and other interested parties think are the priorities, issues and solutions for meeting NSW’s long-term transport needs.

Maitland’s submission details transport challenges, priorities and solutions for the city.

Cr Lisa Tierney said the issue of train frequency should be addressed.

She said that as a mother living in Maitland and working in Newcastle she had the option of two services, but the first was too early, particularly for parents who wanted to drop children at school, and the second too late.

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