Commenting on the latest dispute between state and federal infrastructure advisers over motorways (page 1 SMH today) Greens Senator for NSW and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon says the solution to Sydney's traffic congestion lies with upgrades and expansion of public transport not more urban motorways.
"Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese has been in the job for five years and in that time he has failed to give leadership to improve Sydney's public transport," Senator Rhiannon said.
"Rather than haggling over the size of the tunnel and what traffic it should take Minister Albanese should be working with his colleagues on public transport solutions for Sydney.
"Minister Albanese should be urging Infrastructure Australia to prioritise public transport not more motorways.
"Sydney does have an excellent road system but the problem is that it is too congested which is largely due to the poor public transport.
"Motorways, as well as eating up the bulk of the transport budget, are self-defeating in terms of relieving traffic congestion.
"Experience shows that while there may be initially a drop in local traffic in time more people use vehicle transport and both surrounding streets and the motorway become congested at peak travelling times.
"Transport planning needs to concentrate on providing a level of public transport service that is time competitive with car travel. This is the way to encourage people to use their cars less and this would help relieve congestion on our roads.
"This city requires public transport services that operate at high service frequencies, on main roads and existing motorways and that offer a good quality travelling experience.
"Once efficient, cost competitive, safe services are available they should be heavily marketed to inform the travel public of the quicker public transport options.
"Australia is one of the most urbanised countries and with the shift back to city living public transport needs to be prioritised in federal transport planning," Senator Rhiannon said.