LETTER: Crossings not too dear

JO-ANNE Marzato (‘‘Light rail ballast for working city’’ Letters 3/12) raises some great questions.

She tells us that replacing heavy rail with light rail is not to attract shoppers into Newcastle but to make the city look better. I doubt the betterment of the Newcastle CBD would withstand a cost/benefit analysis by frugal taxpayers.  

Actually, the city would have looked much better had the city’s fathers (and mothers) planned it to be so. The ‘‘dingo fence’’ is there to keep dingoes and kangaroos off the rail and could be simply replaced with attractive and inexpensive landscaping.

It’s true that since I moved from Newcastle 10 years ago I have never appreciated the rail so much as I do now. What a relaxing pleasure it is to sit back and talk with friends, read a book or merely look at the world whizzing past as compared to fighting your way through ever-burgeoning traffic to a parking nightmare destination. 

I do hope that the remains of the beautiful harbour views that appear after one gets east of the ‘‘Great Wall of Honeysuckle’’ do not disappear. 

If it’s possible to run a tunnel under the Sydney Harbour or the English Channel, I imagine we could run a few crossings over or under the rail at Newcastle for far less cost than the projected  cost to remove it.

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