Congestion on Canberra’s roads will double in the next 20 years unless measures are put in place now to encourage more Canberrans to catch public transport, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, said today.

Access to bus services every 15 minutes on main corridors is just one of many measures outlined in the draft Transport for Canberra policy, released today by Mr Corbell.

“The policy document has the goal of getting 23% of Canberrans to use public transport, walk or cycle to get to and from work by 2016 and this will help to manage congestion on our roads while also reducing carbon emissions,” Mr Corbell said.

“Another key service guarantee in the draft policy is that by 2013, Canberrans would have a maximum wait of 15 minutes when leaving a frequent service to a coverage service, and 7.5 minutes when transferring from a coverage service to a frequent service.

“As Canberra continues to grow, so too will the congestion on Canberra’s roads, and this is why the ACT Labor Government has developed a policy that will see congestion managed at an appropriate level, and see more people start using public transport options to get around the city.”

“If we simply adopt a business as usual approach we will see traffic congestion on our roads double by 2031, and our carbon emissions will continue to increase. Transport for Canberra will provide a more effective and efficient transport system to meets the needs of the community while reducing the environmental impacts of transport.”

Transport for Canberra outlines a diverse transport system that ensures all Canberrans have access to a range of transport options, including:

  • a frequent network of buses running every 15 minutes or less through main corridors;
  • a coverage service that feeds into the frequent network;
  • every home will be within 500m of a bus service of at least 60 minute frequency;
  • an environmentally friendly transport fleet with modern ticketing and real-time passenger information;
  • more bus stations, bus priority lanes and traffic signal priority;
  • a transport system that can be adapted to mass public transport, such as light rail;
  • making active travel such as walking and cycling easier, by extending the network of paths and cycleways and providing bike and ride facilities; and,
  • improved freight and regional connections including high speed rail and cross-border transport.

“The draft policy aims to manage demand across the transport system, including managing parking, pricing, increasing the number of people per vehicle, and promoting alternative transport options to help reduce our transport emissions and create a more people-friendly city,” Mr Corbell said.

“The policy provides options that support growth of the ACT economy by creating a safer, more efficient and more sustainable transport system, with ring road options for cars and freight, and public transport corridors for people. The policy also proposes further work around Canberra’s freight and rail connections, which will enhance cross-border transport.

“The ACT Government has already invested more than $1 billion in the transport system in the past 10 years, with over $120m committed in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 Budgets to roll out Transport for Canberra projects.

Members of the public are encouraged to have their say on Transport for Canberra until Friday 11 November.

To view the draft policy and join the discussion visit www.timetotalk.act.gov.au or call Canberra Connect on 132281.

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