AtD wrote:Online petitions have even less clout than real petitions. Either way, the ALP seems to be going ahead with the tram line regardless.
BTW, for those who haven't already read this elsewhere, there's now 7 Flexitys on track, and the first H-Class has been trucked away (or about to be?).
Mants wrote:i reckon itd be good if we put one up somewhere in adelaide...
somewhere like the museum's atrium, doubt thats big enough though
are there any such plans?
edgar_raphael wrote:I am not very sure if this is going to benefit road users, though now after the newly proposed city tram trails had been posted up in the papers, it seems like they are taking up one lane on each side of the traffic, which means more congestion during peak hours and roads are becoming smaller.
Hmm, might reconsider my vote to support the extension.
From what I can see from the proposals in the papers, it seems like the tram is going the route of the Bee Line bus, they might as well replace the Bee Line then.
Minister attacks tramline critics
July 29, 2006 11:30pm
Article from: Sunday Mail(SA)
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AS opposition to the $31 million city tram project grows, Transport Minister Patrick Conlon defended the project yesterday against "small-thinking" critics who believe the money would be better spent elsewhere.
Announcing another extension to the proposed 1.2km King William St line, which would take it a further 600m along North Tce to the University of South Australia's City West campus, he laughed off those who did not support the initiative.
Amid concerns about cost blow-outs - totalling tens of millions of dollars - in the transport budget, Mr Conlon refuted claims that improvements to the tramline extension would be at the expense of the state's ailing public bus and train network.
"It is really small thinking to think this forecloses improvements elsewhere. It doesn't," he said.
"For a very small investment we are going to get a massive regeneration in the west of the city, and that is all positive and good news.
"What people need to do is lift their eyes, have a look at other cities that have done these sorts of things and see the benefits."
Previous plans to extend the line to North Adelaide have been scrapped.
The North Tce tram extension will replace the free Bee-Line bus service that runs every five minutes, from 7.40am to 6pm, on weekdays.
At the announcement, at the Victoria Square tram terminus, Mr Conlon also took aim at the RAA, the Opposition and the Sunday Mail for raising concerns about the project, saying he was "sorry if good news is a little hard to deal with".
However, a snap poll of public transport commuters by the Sunday Mail found almost all wanted the tramline extension funding pumped into improving bus and train services.
This follows a flood of complaints from commuters in recent months that services are frequently late and overcrowded.
Regional areas also are crying out for better services, including at Port Lincoln where school students are sitting on the floor of buses because of cuts to services last week.
But Mr Conlon played down claims the transport system was almost at bursting point.
"I don't think it's a problem to increase (passenger) boardings by 5 per cent, I don't think that's a problem," he said.
"That shows people are using the services.
"We've got a fundamental rethink forced upon us by the cost of fuel. We're going to look at what we can do to improve it."
The revised tramline project also includes selling the Transport Department's Walkerville headquarters and moving the 800 workers to the West End.
And the South Australian Film Corporation headquarters at Hendon also could be relocated to the precinct as part of the Government's urban renewal plan.
Mr Conlon denied Opposition claims the announcement was dressing up a cost blow-out of the project.
He stopped short, however, of a guarantee the project would not blow-out, saying it was "very unlikely".
"I'm very, very confident that it will land in budget," he said. "There is no blow-out on the tram project, there never has been."
However, Opposition infrastructure spokesman Martin Hamilton-Smith said the latest move was a signal the Government was focusing on the wrong priorities.
"We need a whole new approach on infrastructure," he said.
"If the tram is the Government's highest priority, it's dumb - and to extend is dumber. We've got school buses being cancelled in Port Lincoln and Hawker, roads need fixing in the country, the mining industry calling for more infrastructure spending, tunnel projects that can't be afforded and here we are building more tramlines - it's the wrong priority at the wrong time."
Port Lincoln mother of two Teresa Szumski agreed, saying her children had lost their school bus because of cuts made by the Transport Department last week.
"They're not looking after regional areas at all," she said. "Is it (the tram) really the thing that the money should be spent on now?"
RAA public affairs general manager Sharon Hanlon would not be drawn on Mr Conlon's criticisms of the motoring body but said the Government needed to address fundamental road maintenance problems.
"The road maintenance backlog in SA needs urgent attention," she said.
"It started at $160 million in 2003 - and that was the State Government's own figures - and nothing significant has been done to address that since. It's fairly ambitious to announce another tramline extension, particularly when it's replacing a free bus service."
Adelaide Lord Mayor Michael Harbison played down concerns about traffic congestion in the CBD, saying the tramline extension was a win for the city.
"There are vast tracts of land in the north-west corner of the city that have seen no development really ever and this is an enormous opportunity to see the city grow," he said.
"It's pretty clear that the demand and opportunity for the extension of the track is to make it a spur to urban renewal in the West End and that's the right thing to do."
Labor MP for Mawson, Leon Bignell, who recently endured a backlash about a lack of transport infrastructure at a Sunday Mail community forum at Noarlunga Centre, defended the proposal.
"I think the people in the southern suburbs, in general, are pretty keen to see an extension of the train line to Seaford which I think is about $140 million," he said.
"But I don't think there needs to be an either/or.
"I think we can have a tramline extension and at least some point have an extension of the rail line as well if it's feasible."
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