We’ve done a lot to make roads and transport services better in NSW over the last five years.
To ensure NSW remains a great place to live and work in till 2056 and beyond, we need to start planning the transport of the future now. And we want to work closely with communities and businesses to make sure you have a say in this future.
During June 2017, we will be visiting locations across NSW to talk directly with the community and businesses. You can also share your views now by completing one of our regional community or business surveys.
Challenges and opportunities for regional communities
Connecting Within and Across Regional NSW
Much of regional NSW’s public transport focuses on getting people to and from Sydney. But many people in regional communities have told us they want more public transport options for shorter journeys like getting to work, going to school, visiting family or seeing the doctor. For some, this is about getting to a nearby regional city. For others, it’s about travelling across a nearby state or territory border.
One way we can meet these needs is by focusing less on Sydney connections and more on connecting regional towns and regional centres to their nearest regional city. Under this approach, customers could still have transport services to Sydney – but these services may operate out of regional cities.
Most personal travel in Regional NSW is by car as they give people the freedom to travel when and where they want.
However, this does mean people who don’t own vehicles, or have to share one within a family group, can at various times be limited with their options for transport.
Around 1.25 million trips are made by NSW TrainLink train services annually and 60% of these trips are by customers making family or social trips and 20% for recreation or entertainment.
Train services are primarily used by people to make connections with capital cities, with only 24% of trips by customers travelling between regional stations. Government and private operators run long distance coach services. NSW TrainLink operates the majority of services and they generally focus on providing connections to train services.
Flights to Regional NSW
Air travel in regional NSW has a lot more popular in recent years, with flights to and from regional NSW increasing by about 20 per cent over the past 10 years.
However, these flights have been on a smaller number of routes – generally to the larger regional airports.
But a range of factors may see airlines flying to more regional destinations in the future such as the emergence of new airlines offering new services, the construction of Western Sydney Airport creating capacity for more flights, and the expansion of tourism in regional NSW.
We want to know where you want to travel, what airports you want to use, and your thoughts about how regional NSW’s air services are regulated.
Our highways, roads and bridges are important to the quality of life in rural and regional NSW, helping people to get where they need to go, whether that‘s work, school, the shops or the doctor.
To maintain the quality of life in rural and regional communities, we need to continue investing in these important pieces of transport infrastructure. But one of the big challenges is deciding what investments could bring the most benefits to communities and businesses dispersed over great distances.
Through careful decision-making and engagement with communities, we can design transport that supports the ways that people want to live and work, and make them more attractive places to visit.
Communities will have questions on how to make their communities better places to live. These can be questions about highway bypasses, bike lanes and footpaths in town centres, slowing of traffic through main streets and planning connections to deliver new areas for additional housing and business investment.
‘On demand transport’ means that people can use their phone, app or the internet to order transport when and where they need it, whether that’s a taxi, a mini-bus or ridesharing service.
There is great potential for on-demand services in regional areas, particularly in smaller communities that don’t have regular bus services. It also could make a big difference to people who need to fill a gap in their journey, like the distance between their home and a bus stop or train station that is beyond walking distance.
There’s also a shift to electric cars, trucks and buses. Having access to affordable and reliable fuel is critical to rural and regional NSW. But because more than 90% of our transport fuel is imported, any future disruption to these imports could greatly impact people’s lives.
By transitioning to electric powered vehicles, rural and regional NSW could have access to a cheaper, cleaner, locally generated and more reliable source of energy.
VISITING REGIONAL NSW
Each year, millions of people travel to rural and regional NSW to visit family, study, holiday, or do business. We know that most people who visit use a car, some travel by plane and only a small number of visitors get there by coach or train.
People across the world are eating produce exported from rural and regional NSW. Meanwhile, rural and regional communities are consuming goods made from across the world.
To move these goods in and out of rural and regional NSW, we need an efficient road, rail and shipping freight network. With freight volumes set to triple by 2056, the efficiency of this network will be increasingly important.
Freight shares the finite space on our roads and rail with passengers. We need to enhance our capacity and understand the demands of passenger and freight transport to ensure both continue to function efficiently.
There’s further information in the Freight and Ports Plan.
We are working towards an aspirational goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on the NSW transport system by 2056. Sadly, the road toll on regional roads is higher than the State average.
Our Centre for Road Safety will be renewing the NSW Road Safety Strategy in 2017 to reduce road deaths and serious injuries by 30%.
During May the Centre for Road Safety will be holding forums in regional and metropolitan NSW and have an online survey for the community and stakeholders to get involved in. Your feedback will influence the next Road Safety Strategy.
We are committed to delivering high quality services to all customers including those with disability or limited mobility. The Transport Access Program was initiated in 2012 and it is funding more than $1.6 billion to 2019 to improve accessibility to transport facilities.
We have been completed, or have underway, around 450 projects under the present Disability Inclusion Action Plan. These projects have included new lift access at train stations, ramps, new accessible toilets, and disability parking spaces. The plan also ensures the design of new trains, buses and ferries provides enhanced experiences for customers with accessibility needs.
You can review and provide feedback on the Disability Inclusion Action Plan through our Discussion hub.
To create a safe transport network, we must design safe transport systems integrated with human behaviour to ensure that users are not killed or seriously injured as they move.
The way people behave within the system should interact with the system itself to keep them safe. To do this, we need to improve all parts of the transport system – the infrastructure (e.g. roads, tracks, waterways), the vehicle (e.g. cars, trains, ferries), the user (e.g. drivers, pedestrians, public transport users), and the speeds at which users travel within the system.
Our first priority is to prevent crashes but also to ensure that when a crash occurs, the crash forces do not result in death or serious injury.
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