Now that the car races have been and gone for this year it needs to be asked: what has been learned and what won't be learned?
It would seem the transport arrangements worked, but opinion seems divided as to how well they did. If the reports by this publication are anything to go by, then it would seem that many patrons were not pleased. I gain the impression that many were of the view that the transport arrangements were hastily put together.
Whatever the case, the trains would have made the job of moving people in such large numbers a lot easier. I say this because the trains have a much higher carrying capacity than the buses and people would not have had to change onto a bus at Wickham. The railway station was right next to Watt Street.
Yes, the trains would have been under a lot of pressure with numbers like those that were reported. However the job of organising the transportation of the race-goers would have been easier. I saw the number of people the trains could move when they were running into the city.
When the light rail is finally in operation it will be useless to shift people to whatever car race events are left to run. This is because the race track will be over the tram lines and there will be no crossovers for the trams to reverse back onto the outward line. If the tram line ran along the rail corridor and into Newcastle station, where there is room for trams to lay over, then the light rail could contribute to the movement of race goers.
It may be a good idea to review the light rail project.
Peter Sansom, Kahibah
GET BATHERS OUT OF WAY
THE aerial view of the Supercars racetrack on the front of the Newcastle Herald actually displayed where the track could have gone if not for the council building a walkway wide enough for cars to drive on, leaving the roadway rather narrow .
Using the scenic drive around Nobbys, assuming the expansion of the track from go-kart proportions to provide room for passing, would also remove the downside of annoying most local residents.
The fact that Watt Street was re-graded to use footpath space for roadway means the same could apply for Nobbys’ scenic drive. Just raise the existing road then resurface over the lot, which would not cause any major traffic interruption in the process or during the event.
This circuit could be on par with some of Europe's best, far better than any Australian circuit. The existing set up will always be inferior and a headache for residents.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
OUR OWN ECHO CHAMBER
AN interesting feature of the Queen’s Wharf tower is the acoustics of the room at the top. If two people are engaged in quiet conversation while looking out of the window, then someone on the opposite side of the room can hear their conversation distinctly. The voices do not seem to be coming from the other side of the room but seem to be in the head of the listener. It is a most interesting sensation.
Bruce Johnston, Merewether Heights
ONLY THE VOTES COUNT
SCOT MacDonald MLC should be advised that Jenny Atchison of Maitland, Kate Washington of Port Stephens, and Tim Crakanthorp of Newcastle were elected by the people of their respective electorates to represent them (“Aitchison told to leave hospital site”, Herald 1/12).
You, Mr MacDonald, were appointed by your party to the Upper House of NSW, not elected directly by the people of the three aforementioned electorates.
The political game you and your party are playing excluding the locally elected members, is as petty as it gets. You had a hand in the election campaign where those three were elected and your people didn’t win those positions. Please accept the fact that those who are elected become the local members, not you or anyone else.
Fred McInerney, Karuah
QUESTIONS OF PATRIOTISM
PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull wants to know just which side Senator Dastyari is on, saying we expect Australian senators not to be assisting foreign governments.
No doubt Australians together with President Donald Trump were thinking the same when Mr Turnbull announced that the Northern Territory government had leased the Port of Darwin for 99 years to a Chinese company with alleged links to the People’s Liberation Army.
Dennis Petrovic, Rutherford
TALK OF THE TOWN
THERE have been quite a few letters about the future of the Queens Wharf tower. Over the years, the council has had a lot of feedback from ratepayers about the suitability of the structure in this prime location. Also, they would be considering the maintenance cost. I am ambivalent about the retention of the tower. I climbed it once since it was opened in 1988.
If the tower is to be retained, I feel the dome should be removed and a properly fashioned part of the male anatomy installed in its place. That would make it a real conversation starter.
Les Field, Wickham
BUS CHANGES A BUST
WHILE Newcastle’s private transport operator boasts about introducing 1200 extra weekly bus services (“Bus routes unveiled as rail rolls out", Herald 1/12) the reality is that they've simply fragmented the existing bus network and reduced the number of direct routes available.
Novocastrians will now have to catch multiple buses to get to the same destinations the old services would have taken them to in one trip. Residents of Swansea will no longer be able to reach Charlestown directly because a bus change at Belmont will be required, and it will take three buses for them to get to Hamilton. This is a route the current 349 and 350 services achieve in one trip. Did anyone at Keolis Downer stop to think about how this fragmentation of services will affect elderly commuters or families? If anything, these changes to the bus network will just make people in the outer suburbs more inclined to use their cars.
I certainly won’t be catching three buses to get to the university from Caves Beach.
Michelle Vernon, Caves Beach
LETTER OF THE WEEK
The Herald pen for letter of the week goes to Christine Everingham, of Newcastle East, who wrote about community benefit gleaned from events.