The recent NSW Budget announcements could finally deliver the infrastructure seriously needed by the much neglected Northern Beaches.
Local Member Mike Baird has followed through with a $633 million transport upgrade announced that will include a rapid bus transport system from Mona Vale to the city, and five new public transport hubs.
This includes a $400 million package of infrastructure to support the yet to be built Northern Beaches Hospital, including two underpasses on the Warringah Road at Forest Way and Wakehurst Parkway, the widening of Warringah Road and Allambie Road as well as providing access to the new hospital via the intersection of Warringah Road and Hilmer Street. These upgrades will be in place by 2018.
The proposed Bus Rapid Transport system (BRT) is a project which has been lobbied by SHOROC (the combined Councils of Mosman, Manly, Warringah and Pittwater) for many years as the best solution to free up the grind that is the daily commute from the Northern Beaches.
A $125 million will be allocated to build the BRT from Mona Vale to the city, including indented bus bays, more frequent services and longer operating hours.
Five new interchanges will be developed at Mona Vale, Dee Why, Brookvale, Northern Beaches Hospital and Mosman at a cost of $30 million.
Also included in the package is the creation of 800 new commuter carparks at North Narrabeen, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Warriewood and Brookvale costing $67 million.
The building opposite Warringah Mall, which has been an eye-sore for years, is currently under negotiation to be transformed into a commuter car park.
Talks have also commenced to divert buses from the Spit Bridge approach through the nearby property that includes the old Greater Union cinema building at Spit Junction.
Forget it! Anyone who travels across the Spit Bridge has no doubt experienced the increased delays caused by the trial closure of the Pearl Bay Ave at Beauty Point. This joint agreement between the Mayors of Mosman, Manly, Warringah & Pittwater clearly doesn’t work, it’s time to reinstate this alternative route.
Reports of families now having to take two cars instead of one because of increased traffic times of up to 20 minutes means they can't do drop offs along the way, considerable increase in traffic generally and more clogging of this already clogged-up road. It makes no sense. It's not a 'rat-run', it's a legitimate route to local day-care centres and a more direct route to other areas of Sydney.
At last night’s Council meeting the motion was passed that:
“Council hereby confirms that no street closures, one way conversions or shared zones will be included on the beachfront (North and South Steyne) or the Corso via Whistler Street routes in the Manly2015 scheme.”
This is great news, not only for those who live and work on the Eastern Hill but anyone who needs to drive in Manly's CBD.
Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign for this change to the 2015 Plan.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.