Customer outcomes for Greater Newcastle

Our customers are at the centre of everything we do in transport. In Greater Newcastle our customers include the residents, visitors, business owners who use and rely on the transport system.

The overarching Future Transport Strategy articulates the transport vision for NSW for the next 40 years through six customer and network outcomes; A customer focus, Contributing to successful places, A growing economy, Safety and performance, Accessible services, and Financial and environmental sustainability.

This chapter considers these outcomes further and details ten outcomes from a regional perspective and what they will mean for the people, visitors and businesses of Greater Newcastle and how transport supports the emergence of the city as Global Gateway. With the population of Greater Newcastle projected to grow to around 760,000 people by 2056, enhancing customer satisfaction with transport is our ongoing commitment.

Regional NSW Customer Outcomes

Future Transport 2056 Statewide outcomesRegional NSW customer outcomes
Customer Focused

Convenient and responsive to customer needs

1. Flexible services are an integral part of the transport system helping to deliver reliability

2. A transport system that adapts to and embraces new technology

Successful Places

Sustaining and enhancing the liveability of our places

3. The appropriate movement and place balance is established enabling people and goods to move efficiently through the network whilst ensuring local access and vibrant places

4. Supporting centres with appropriate transport services and infrastructure

Growing the Economy

Connecting people and places in the growing regions

5. Changes in land use, population and demand, including seasonal changes, are served by the transport system

6. Economic development is enabled by regional transport services and infrastructure

Safety and Performance

Safely, efficiently and reliably moving people and goods

7. A safe transport system for every customer with zero deaths or serious injuries on the network by 2056

8. A transport system that is resilient to significant weather events including floods, fog and bush fires

Accessible Services

Accessible for all customers

9. Accessibility to employment and services such as health, education, retail and cultural activities within Regional Cities and Centres

Sustainability

Makes the best use of available resources and assets

10. Customers enjoy improved connectivity, integrated services and better use of capacity

 

Customer Outcome 1: Flexible transport services

Customer needs are met by flexible services which are convenient and responsive to customer needs

Flexible transport services mean transport services that can be tailored to meet the needs of customers. Rather than scheduled services that operate at fixed times or routes, flexible services are more responsive to individual needs or can be varied as demand changes in terms of times, routes, stops and vehicles.

Technology has enabled the emergence of new customer-focused and commercial applications of flexible transport, for example, point-to-point services (such as taxi and rideshare), Community Transport and MaaS. These new service models expand the travel choices available to customers who may have difficulty using scheduled public transport. This can include people with disability, people who are travelling out of scheduled service hours or who live or need to travel to destinations at some distance from public transport services.

uberWAV Pilot in Newcastle

The NSW Government’s point-to-point transport reforms have enabled rideshare services to flourish in NSW. New commercial options are now emerging in various locations to cater to different customer groups.

Expanding on their rideshare service, Uber launched a 12-month uberWAV pilot in Newcastle in December 2016. Specially equipped and certified wheelchair accessible vehicles are available for request through the Uber app in Newcastle. The vehicles are operated by top-rated local driver partners who choose to undertake third-party training with a Registered Training Organisation. All vehicles requested through the uberWAV option in the app are equipped with a rear-entry ramp, winch and restraints, enabling a wheelchair user to ride safely and comfortably.

The uberWAV pilot has been supported by several local service providers and representative bodies, including the Community Disability Alliance Hunter, Life Without Barriers, Castle Personnel, Northcott, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Spinal Cord Injuries Australia and Lifestyle Solutions.

A large proportion of Greater Newcastle is rural, semi-rural or has low population and employment densities. It is often not cost effective to provide frequent scheduled public transport services to these areas due to their distance to centres and lower level of demand.

We also anticipate that areas within Greater Newcastle will be home to a large percentage of older people, particularly out towards Nelson Bay and around Lake Macquarie (refer to Figure 10). Older people are often reliant on friends and family or public transport, including Community Transport, to travel around.

The provision of flexible, on demand public transport services is an option for these areas. Flexible, on demand transport services enable customers to book personalised transport services to access services like key bus stops and stations as well as health services and shopping precincts when they need it.

Advances in technology will continue to enable opportunities to ensure that no one is left out and that people across Greater Newcastle will have more choice in how they travel to the places they need and want to go without having to rely on using a private vehicle.

On demand transport services trial in Newcastle

The first trial of on demand public transport in Greater Newcastle began in January 2018. Customers taking part in in the trial can download an app connecting them with buses that will come right to their door or a convenient location in the Lake Macquarie area.

The on demand trial will operate in addition to existing routes during daytime off-peak periods and on weekends in Dudley, Whitebridge, Mount Hutton, Windale, Tingira Heights, Eleebana, Warners Bay, Gateshead and Charlestown areas.

Using the on demand app on a smart device, customers are able to book a service and pre-pay or pay cash to the driver for a bus to pick them up from near their home or a convenient location and take them to where they want to go within the geographically defined on demand area.

The Newcastle Transport on demand app matches customers travelling in the same direction, creating an optimised, flexible route that responds to demand and does away with timetables. This is exciting technology and provides customers with a more flexible, convenient transport solution to get them to where they want to go.

The results of the 12 month trial will be used to consider options for rolling out on demand across a larger area to improve accessibility and choice for an increased number of customers.

Customers can find out more information about Newcastle Transport on demand services at www.newcastletransport.info/on-demand or by calling 1300 590 506

Customer Outcome 2: Embracing new technology

Customer needs are met by a transport system that adapts to and embraces new technology

Technology has the real potential to change how people in Greater Newcastle travel. It is constantly evolving, presenting both opportunities and challenges in the way we plan and deliver passenger and freight transport services and infrastructure. We must take advantage of these opportunities to ensure the transport network provides the best level of service possible. The NSW Government is committed to adopting and applying new technology to transport needs in regional NSW.

We will work with relevant stakeholders to use the technology available now to achieve the following outcomes within Greater Newcastle:

  • Dynamic, personalised, customer-centric services, including flexible, on demand services and real time information
  • A seamless service offering – the customer interface will increasingly be the MaaS provider, not the operator. Transport services/options can be bundled and sold so that greater transport choice is provided
  • Smart motorways that make best use of the smart technologies being developed in vehicles, including improving productivity and safety through freight technology advances e.g. supply chain efficiencies of platooning, reducing human interaction
  • Personal mobility devices (e-bikes, segways, mobility scooters) enabling people to travel further than traditional active transport (walking, cycling)
  • Improved security systems to increase passenger safety during journeys and at interchanges.

Over the next 40 years, connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) will likely be the next major step change in transport. There is an opportunity to evaluate the role they will play in Greater Newcastle. They have the potential to reduce congestion, vehicle noise and carbon emissions and increase road safety. This has the potential to change the amenity and how places operate.

Smart Innovation Centre

In 2016, Transport for NSW created the Smart Innovation Centre to facilitate collaboration between government, industry and the research sector to develop innovative transport technology in NSW. The Centre is already working with industry partners, HMI Technologies, NRMA, Telstra, IAG and Sydney Olympic Park Authority, to conduct the state’s first trial of the highly automated passenger shuttle at Sydney Olympic Park. The two-year trial is providing important information not only about how the technology works in the Australian environment but also how passengers respond to this type of vehicle.

Lessons learnt will help us identify and implement new, creative and better ways to deliver transport to our customers. It will also help industry develop technology, products and services that can be deployed to deliver improved mobility for customers.

For more information see www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/programs/smart-innovation-centre

Adoption of new transport technologies in Greater Newcastle will support progress towards the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 outcome to improve connections to jobs, services and recreation. Greater Newcastle is a suitable location to trial automated buses, shared, connected and automated vehicles, e-bikes and mobility-service platforms. Freight and logistics areas, including the trading hubs at Beresfield-Black Hill, Newcastle port and Newcastle Airport, are also suitable as early adopters of technology-enabled solutions for faster deliveries, improved safety and increased productivity.

Close collaboration with local government will ensure that trials and the introduction of CAVs and other new transport technologies ensure safety outcomes are improved for all road users. As CAVs and rideshare services have the potential to induce a greater number of trips and variable pick up and set down points, their introduction may require modifications to local road environments and centres. Their introduction should also be aligned with efforts to curb air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions so as not to detract from local amenity.

With the increasing availability of data, there is the potential for new data insights to support evidence-based planning. An open data policy by the NSW Government can support useful data sharing for planning purposes. Transport information that is already widely available includes access to real-time information on services, on demand services, infrastructure for personal mobility devices (e-bikes, mobility scooters), improved security systems for passenger safety and Smart motorway technology to improve safety and supply chain efficiency.

Smart Cities – Lake Macquarie and Newcastle

An early adopter of Smart City ideas, Lake Macquarie City Council laid the foundation for creating a more connected, innovative and resilient city, with the adoption of the Lake Mac Smart City, Smart Council Digital Economy Strategy in 2016. The strategy identifies 18 initiatives that will help boost the local economy, improve Council’s performance and ultimately enhance the lifestyle of residents.

Newcastle City Council adopted its first Smart City strategy in 2017. The Newcastle Smart City Strategy 2017 – 2021 is a collaborative strategic planning document that will guide Council and a wide range of stakeholders to develop a smarter and more innovative Newcastle and Hunter region and to maximise opportunities presented in sectors including technology, advanced manufacturing, the digital economy and the creative industries.

The Newcastle Smart City Strategy encompasses a range of initiatives such as the integration of technologies within residential and commercial developments that encourage take up of lower greenhouse gas emitting transport options and the regional provision of infrastructure for emerging technology, such as a regional electric vehicle charging network.

Customer Outcome 3: Movement and place framework

People and businesses experience vibrant local places balanced with efficient and effective movement of people and goods.

Roads form the majority of Greater Newcastle’s transport network. They help to move around thousands of our customers every day. They also pass through places where people work, shop and socialise.

The movement and place framework aims to balance the interests of different road users by considering and classifying roads by their function and considering the place function of the space. By doing this, different street environments emerge.

For example, the New England Highway supports the movement of people between Maitland and Newcastle, is home to a number of people and is the location of major destinations such as Stockland Green Hills shopping centre, Maitland Private Hospital, Maitland TAFE as well as parks and open spaces. Development of and around the New England Highway requires consideration of these multiple functions.

The classification then determines the design principles that should be implemented to support the street environments and assists in decision making for the management of road space to help create and maintain successful places.

Ultimately, decisions about the classification and treatment of roads and the implementation of the movement and place framework will have the best outcomes where there has been early and ongoing collaboration and cooperation between local and state government land use and road authorities in consultation with communities.

Potential application of framework in Greater Newcastle

In the development of Place Plans, there is an opportunity to apply the movement and place framework to support change.

The figure below is an example of how key roads in Newcastle city centre could change from movement corridors to vibrant streets or alternatively, from local streets to key movement corridors depending on their function.

The movement and place framework also recognises that transport infrastructure is not only about mobility but is a ‘place maker’. It can transform the public domain, activate centres and unlock new commercial and housing developments, renewing existing neighbourhoods and spaces. The design of interchanges and transport infrastructure can create new spaces for public art and open space and can contribute to the overall aesthetic experience of public places.

As we implement the Plan, we will collaborate with our stakeholders early in the planning and design stages of the delivery of new transport infrastructure and services to incorporate placemaking initiatives that contribute to the character and liveability of places.

Customer Outcome 4: Supporting centres with appropriate transport services and infrastructure

Greater Newcastle serves a diverse range of places which requires a scalable transport network response

Greater Newcastle’s importance will significantly increase over the next four decades as a Global Gateway City. This is due to its:

  • Catchment of over 1 million people
  • Access to international markets through the port and airport, strong health and education precincts, world class sporting facilities and economic development opportunities such as tourism, growth of specialised manufacturing and small-medium enterprises, defence facilities and a growing knowledge industry base
  • Urban renewal opportunities with transformative light rail and frequent public transport connections
  • Its liveability, including opportunities for more sustainable travel behaviour.

Transport has an important part to play in supporting Greater Newcastle as a Global Gateway City to ensure its success and competitiveness into the future.

With its port, New Cruise Terminal and Airport, Greater Newcastle will increasingly become the primary city-serving regional catchments beyond the Hunter to the north, north-west and west. Investments in infrastructure such as the Hunter Expressway, Pacific Highway, New England Highway and Golden Highway will facilitate safer and more efficient connections for passenger and freight movements from Tamworth, Armidale, Dubbo, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.

Improving transport connections to/from and within Greater Newcastle will be critical to realising its potential as Australia’s newest and emerging economic and lifestyle city, connected with northern NSW and acknowledged globally, as envisioned in the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036.

Cardiff-Glendale Emerging Strategic Centre

The Hunter Regional Plan 2036 identifies Cardiff-Glendale as an emerging strategic centre and outlines an urban renewal corridor between Cardiff and Glendale.

Additionally, the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 identifies the North West Lake Macquarie area as a catalyst area. Actions identified within the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 for the various precincts of the North West Lake Macquarie area are to improve transport connectivity between employment and retail precincts, explore opportunities for better pedestrian and cycle connectivity to Cockle Creek station and to the Glendale Retail and Sport Precinct.

The NSW Government has allocated $1.7 million towards the development of a Strategic Business Case to identify transport initiatives which address the precincts’ future needs and complement its growth and renewal, including a potential Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange.

Transport for NSW has established a working group to support work on the Strategic Business Case in collaboration with RMS, DPE and Lake Macquarie City Council. This new collaborative approach has focussed on all stakeholders having a shared vision for the transport and land use future of this emerging strategic centre and important catalyst area.

The working group has engaged in a process to define the problem using the movement and place framework which focuses on customer outcomes. The working group have agreed in principle to a problem definition and a set of transport options to be considered in the Strategic Business Case. This includes a range of potential road, public and active transport opportunities, as well as considering the proposed Pennant Street bridge, to achieve the best outcomes.

We expect the Strategic Business Case to be finalised in mid-2018. It will recommend options to be prioritised based on the agreed objectives and value for money.

Connections within Greater Newcastle

As discussed earlier, the Hunter Regional Plan 2036 includes a vision to have 95 percent of residents living within 30 minutes of a strategic centre. The network hierarchy presented in Chapter 2 identifies the connections needed to support access between Greater Newcastle’s strategic centres. Future transport services and infrastructure will respond to this hierarchy to support access. Improvements to public transport routes and service frequencies will result in expanded public transport catchments.

As most trips within Greater Newcastle are for discretionary purposes, such as shopping, social and recreational trips, people can often choose the time they travel. These trips also tend to be shorter in length making them suitable for walking or cycling.

Walking and cycling provides a number of benefits for both people and places. Around the world, people’s health is negatively impacted by congestion and sedentary lifestyles. Walking and cycling for short, local trips helps to prevent the onset of chronic illnesses, reduces road congestion and lowers carbon emissions and air pollutants.

Places that have corridors where walking and cycling connects people to green spaces, shops, services, schools and entertainment are also attractive places. This is important for the wellbeing of the community and to attract skilled workers that facilitate globally competitive businesses and cities.

Newcastle ‘On Your Bike’ Campaign

From 2016 to 2018 the NSW Government’s cycling program has provided matched funding to Newcastle City Council to deliver a campaign to get Newcastle riding more than ever. The campaign has included popular bike workshops, a website onyourbike.com.au, maps, guides, rides, social media and billboards to help Novocastrians find their path.

The campaign has sparked growth in the already large number of people who ride to get to places around Newcastle and has encouraged more people to get riding.

The Levee

The Levee in Maitland is one of the best examples of mixed traffic shopping streets in Australia. In this environment, priority is given to people walking, with cars travelling slowly on the same cobblestone street as passing shoppers on foot.

The street has awnings and trees for shade and planter boxes, benches and bike parking to create walking thoroughfares away from the moving traffic without the need for line marking. Events and installations such as markets and opportunities for photos with Santa continue to make The Levee an exciting space.

Recent streetscape improvements to The Levee were completed at a cost of $9.92 million and funded through the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Resources for Regions program.

We are also investing in road projects to support connections within Greater Newcastle. RMS are currently developing Road Network Strategies with local councils to identify road improvements in the local government areas. We are investing in a number of roads such as the Newcastle Inner City Bypass – Rankin Park to Jesmond, Cormorant Road – Industrial Drive to Stockton Bridge and Nelson Bay Road – Fern Bay to Williamtown. We will look at travel demand management policies and tools to manage congestion and support improvements to travel time reliability.

Connections to surrounding Hunter region

The Hunter Regional Plan 2036 identified Newcastle city centre as the capital of the Hunter region. People and businesses across the Hunter rely on Greater Newcastle and the services, infrastructure and opportunities available there. Conversely, there is demand for travel from Greater Newcastle to the Hunter region. For example, over 8,000 people travel from Greater Newcastle to work locations around the Hunter (based on 2011 ABS Census Journey to Work data, see Figure 39). We need to support this relationship by providing adequate transport connections.

The Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan identified a new way of providing transport services in regional NSW. This is a hub and spoke network model that focuses on providing connections radiating out from regional cities and centres, rather than focusing on providing connections to Sydney. The network will comprise of a range of modes to reflect the level of demand and distance travelled.

The Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan also includes a number of initiatives for investigation to support access to Greater Newcastle from around the Hunter region. These include road improvements to the New England Highway and the Golden Highway as well as investigating a Dubbo to Newcastle rail connection.

Connections to Greater Sydney

A key part of a successful Global Gateway City is its connections to other major cities. The demand for travel between Sydney and Greater Newcastle will continue to grow. This is shown in Figure 20 and Figure 25. With recent significant investment in road infrastructure on these corridors, alternate public transport links such as rail have significant room for improvement in journey times to become competitive with car and air travel.

Emerging technologies for land based long distance travel are rapidly evolving. However, tested and proven methods of transport remain some time off and the previously federally investigated (2012) mode of high speed rail (HSR) is not deemed to be feasible in the Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan for implementation until the 20+ year timeframe.

Whilst the operation of emerging technologies are likely to be some way off, opportunities for faster and higher speed rail will be considered as part of investigations within the 0-10 year timeframe, and more detailed investigations into corridor preservation based upon the most constrained design criteria (HSR) should be investigated within the 10-20 year timeframe.

In the next decade it is recommended that Faster Rail corridor infrastructure investment programs be focused on Satellite and Global Gateway Cities to achieve significant travel time savings.

For the Global Gateway City of Greater Newcastle, the travel time aspiration is two hours to Sydney. The Australian Government has recently announced that it will provide matching funding for the development of a strategic business case for Faster Rail in the Sydney to Newcastle corridor. These investments will be required independently of the introduction of higher speed connections which would appeal to different rail travel markets (i.e. less or no stops and potentially higher fares) and deliver benefits to both passenger and freight flows.

Faster rail improvements as well as the New Intercity Fleet will also mean better connections between the Central Coast and Greater Newcastle.

Access to the trade gateways of Newcastle port from inland NSW will continue to be important for the next 40 years with the movement of coal dominating the rail transport task.

Connections to surrounding regions

Greater Newcastle’s role as a Global Gateway City is reflective of the relationship that currently exists and will continue to exist between Greater Newcastle and surrounding regions.

The patronage data for NSW TrainLink rail services discussed in Chapter 1: Introduction shows the strong existing public transport connection that Greater Newcastle has with the North Coast and New England North West regions. However, this data only reflects the existing public transport network. Improvements to data collection across regional NSW, proposed as part of the Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan, will enable a greater understanding of where people travel will support the implementation of the hub and spoke model to provide better transport connections across regional NSW.

We are also investing in a new regional rail fleet to deliver better levels of comfort and service for regional rail customers. Improvements to the regional rail fleet will benefit people travelling to and from Greater Newcastle. There are opportunities to consider new servicing patterns for regional cities and centres to support day return travel and increased accessibility for customers across regional NSW.

Improvements to transport within Greater Newcastle will ensure people travelling from outside the region will be able to connect to the places they need to go easily and efficiently.

Additionally, we are working on rolling out integrated ticketing across regional NSW. This will mean people travelling into Greater Newcastle from outside the area will not have to purchase different tickets.
The growth of Newcastle Airport, supported by funding from the Regional Airports Program, and investigation into higher speed connections will mean faster journeys for people travelling long distances.

New Regional Rail Fleet

The entire regional rail fleet will be replaced to deliver unprecedented levels of comfort and service for regional rail customers. This includes 60 XPT passenger cars (plus 19 diesel locomotives), 23 XPLORER and 28 Endeavour passenger cars for services between Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and major NSW regional centres.

An Expression of Interest was issued in August 2017 for the design, construction and maintenance of the new trains and a new maintenance facility at the preferred site in Dubbo (subject to planning approval). In December 2017 a Request for Proposal was issued to three proponents, and is due to close June 2018. A detailed review of proposals will follow before the contract is awarded. The new trains will come into service progressively, with the first trains anticipated to be delivered in the early 2020s.

Dubbo has been identified as the preferred location for the brand new regional maintenance facility, subject to planning approval.

The key benefits from the introduction of the new Regional Rail Fleet are:

  • Safe, reliable, comfortable and accessible regional trains
  • Ability to leverage innovative technologies for customers and fleet operations
  • A more reliable service for customers travelling long distances
  • Opportunities for new servicing patterns for regional cities and centres, including day return travel to support the hub and spoke model
  • Stimulation of the regional economy and provision of long term, sustainable jobs including traineeships and apprenticeships with the maintenance of these new trains in regional NSW.

Trials of day-return public transport options between regional hubs

NSW TrainLink has recently commenced trials of new coach connections to better connect regional communities and provide day return services:

  • Tamworth to Newcastle
  • Tamworth to Dubbo
  • Tamworth to Port Macquarie

Before these trials there were no direct services between Tamworth and Dubbo and between Tamworth and Port Macquarie. The services from Tamworth to Newcastle did not provide a day return option.

Each trial aims to provide easy connections between regional hubs for better access to medical and health providers, business, shopping, recreational activities or to catch up with family and friends.

For more information, visit: transportnsw.info/news/2017/trials-of-new-public-transport-options-for-regional-nsw

Customer Outcome 5: Responding to changes in land use, population and demand

Changes in land use, population and demand, including seasonal changes, are served by the transport system

Over the next 40 years, forecasts show that Greater Newcastle’s population will primarily increase in greenfield development sites along the New England Highway corridor as well as in areas like Morisset-Cooranbong, Nelson Bay Peninsula, Raymond Terrace and Williamtown-Medowie-Karuah. Population within the Newcastle city centre will also increase.

Areas within 10km of the Newcastle city centre will increasingly densify. The urban renewal of the Newcastle city centre, including the University of Newcastle NewSpace campus and other corridors will generate additional demand.

We need to provide a transport network that supports these changing land uses, matching services, span of hours and frequencies to demand. Public and active transport infrastructure and service changes should be put in place before people move into new developments to support sustainable travel behaviour and provide viable transport choices.

We also need to support other activities that generate increased travel demand and changed travel patterns.

These include:

  • Growth and change in freight and logistics operations, emergence of new industries and businesses and investment in major infrastructure. Examples of economic and infrastructure changes include the redevelopment of former industrial sites for newly emerging services and creative industries as well as housing
  • Recreational events such as sporting matches, festivals and concerts that generate travel from within and outside Greater Newcastle. The Hunter Sports and Entertainment Precinct redevelopment will continue to see increased demand for travel. This could mean the introduction of special event services, park and ride options or integrated public transport ticketing for events.
  • Tourism demand across Greater Newcastle, including the New Cruise Terminal.

Special event services

Across Greater Newcastle special event transport services are available to support increasing demand for travel to events.

Since November 2017 Newcastle City Council, in collaboration with McDonald Jones Stadium, have implemented a weekday park and ride service between Broadmeadow and the Newcastle city centre. To support increased demand for travel into the city centre for New Year’s Eve celebrations, the park and ride service was provided free on December 31, 2017. Likewise, free services were provided to support people travelling to the Nobbys Beach dawn service on Anzac Day in 2018.

To enable over 30,000 people to travel to and from the recent Hyundai A-League Grand Final at McDonald Jones Stadium, extra public transport services were implemented across Greater Newcastle. Extra train, ferry and bus services as well as park and ride services from Newcastle city centre, Wallsend and Kotara and shuttles from Newcastle Airport and Newcastle Interchange were implemented. These services could be further enhanced with the introduction of integrated public transport ticketing for major events.

Private operators also provide shuttle services to connect people across Greater Newcastle, including visitors staying in the Hunter Valley, and to special events such as festivals and concerts. They also provide tourist services to the vineyards and wineries.

Adopting an agile planning approach

If transport services and infrastructure are to be truly responsive to changing land use population and travel demand, the approach to planning transport has to be equally responsive to uncertainty and change. Adopting an agile approach to planning can help prepare for growth and change by identifying the needs or performance ‘triggers’ for deploying service changes in the short term and major infrastructure construction and repurposing in the longer term. Using an agile approach also means involving customers, stakeholders and communities in the development of a range of options and design for service and infrastructure investments.

Revitalising Newcastle

The NSW Government is investing more than $650 million in the Revitalising Newcastle program to transform the city centre by strengthening connections between the city and waterfront, creating job opportunities, roviding new housing and delivering attractive public spaces connected to better transport.

The investment responds to the transition of the former heavy rail ‘movement corridor’ to an urban environment with a high ‘place’ value. An example is the transition of the former rail corridor at the Entertainment Precinct by Queens Wharf to a vibrant street.

The Revitalising Newcastle program includes:

  • the completed Newcastle Interchange, a new multi-modal transport
  • interchange at Wickham in the city’s west
  • wire-free light rail between Newcastle Interchange and Pacific Park, just
  • 200 metres from Newcastle Beach, reinvigorating Hunter and Scott Streets
  • revitalised land to provide education and affordable housing, mixed use
  • development, job opportunities, tourist attractions and public open space,
  • including the Market Street Lawn.

Revitalising Newcastle is a key multi-agency initiative coordinated by the Hunter Development Corporation. We are working closely with the Hunter Development Corporation on delivering the objectives of Revitalising
Newcastle:

  • Bring people back to the city centre
  • Connect the city to its waterfront
  • Preserve and enhance the unique heritage
  • Help grow new jobs in the city centre
  • Create great places linked to new transport
  • Create economically sustainable public domain and community assets.

Customer Outcome 6: Economic development is enabled by regional transport services and infrastructure

Regional businesses and tourism are enabled by appropriate, coordinated, efficient and effective transport services and infrastructure

The transport system powers NSW’s future $1.3 trillion economy and enables economic activity across the state. The Hunter region, including Greater Newcastle, is critically important to the state’s economic growth. The largest freight volumes in NSW move through the Hunter region, accounting for one third of the NSW freight task. Every year nearly 200 million tonnes of coal are moved through the region to local power stations and global steel and energy markets.

Although the mining industry dominates in volume, agricultural production is one of the Hunter’s greatest strengths and the region’s agriculture is its highest value commodity. The region produces world famous wines and fresh produce that is enjoyed throughout the state and internationally. Beef, poultry, eggs, horses, fruit, vegetables and fishery produce are moved through the region every day by truck and air. An efficient road and rail network that connects regional NSW to Newcastle Airport and port and between Newcastle and other major cities will provide opportunities to facilitate this growth.

Airport

The NSW Government recognises that airports are catalysts for economic growth. Infrastructure NSW has noted that it is important that sufficient aviation capacity is available for the projected 10 million annual international tourists who will come to New South Wales by 2036.

The NSW Government has previously allocated $11.1 million for the expansion of Newcastle Airport, as part of the $450 million the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund established in 2011. Stage One of the project included a new arrivals hall and quarantine and customs areas. These works were completed in 2015. Stage Two of the project is a full refurbishment of the existing terminal to cater for check-in and an expansive departure lounge.

Newcastle Airport terminal expansion has helped position Greater Newcastle as a Global Gateway City. Passenger movement through the Airport has grown by 25% in the past 10 years and is forecast to double in the next 20 years up to 2.65 million passengers annually. In addition to growing domestic visitation, Newcastle Airport could receive international flights.

With more than 1.25 million passengers passing through the airport in the 2016/17 financial year, it has been estimated that Newcastle Airport contributes over $1 billion in economic impact to the state’s economy.

The economic benefits of an airport extend beyond the passenger and freight facilities. Newcastle Airport has released a Masterplan that sets out a vision to take advantage of the unique commercial development opportunities on level land surrounding the airport. The airport already has shared airside facilities with the RAAF Base, Williamtown and other organisations that hold long-term leases including BAE Systems and Jetstar Engineering.

Improving the quality of transport infrastructure and planning will provide people with greater ease of access to the airport and remove barriers to visitation, trade and investment. This in turn will assist in growing the positive impact created by Newcastle Airport and its regional airports.

Newcastle Airport Vision 2036 – Delivering the airport the region deserves

Newcastle Airport released a visionary plan in March 2018 to expand the Airport to meet the needs of the local community.

The Master Plan describes the airfield, terminal, landside, ground transport and aviation support facilities needed to cater for increased numbers, including:

  • terminal transformation with facilities expanded over two levels
  • additional food, beverage and retail businesses
  • international services implemented into the facilities
  • aero-bridges from the upper level
  • major modifications to integrate ground transport and road access
  • creation of a pedestrian plaza
  • additional car parking areas and offerings
  • creation of a ‘campus’ style business precinct.

Supported by the NSW Government and developed in consultation with local, state and federal government stakeholders and the community, the Master Plan provides a clear direction and capitalises on the role of the Airport in stimulating economic and social prosperity.

Intended to guide the ongoing development of New South Wales’ second busiest airport, the Master Plan supports continued investment in vital infrastructure that provides capacity to support strong regional, national and global connectivity, benefiting both the NSW visitor and knowledge economies.

Freight

A snapshot of the importance of the Hunter region to the NSW economy shows that in 2016 the region produced and moved:

62% of the NSW volumes of coal
100% of NSW alumina and aluminium
34% of NSW fuel
15% of NSW building and construction materials
14% of NSW manufactured goods
13% of NSW oilseeds
12% of NSW milk and dairy products

In addition, in 2016 the Newcastle port imported 21% of NSW’s fuel supply.

The total volume of freight transported into and out of the Hunter region was 176 million tonnes in 2016. This is forecast to grow by around 18% to over 200 million tonnes by 2036.

The Hunter region has the highest rail mode share for freight in NSW. The transport network carries 150 million tonnes per annum by rail and over 20 million tonnes by road. Rail freight movements are mainly used to transport coal. Almost all, 99 percent, of coal freight movements are by rail. In contrast, most other freight movements are by road.

Greater Newcastle is well connected to the state-wide network of road and rail. However, almost all freight needs to either cross the Hunter River or travel through the metro core to reach the port.

Regardless of the global future of coal, the Hunter region will continue to be an important part of NSW’s future freight task. Access to the trade gateways of Newcastle port and airport from inland NSW will continue to be important for the next 40 years and managing the transportation of increased volumes of freight through a densifying metro core will be a major challenge for the transport system.

Better separation of freight and passenger movements is a key focus in Future Transport 2056 as it provides benefits to both customers. An example is the committed initiative for the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor Protection.

With technological advancements, ‘first and last mile’ freight movements will likely be transformed by technology and deliver efficiencies in logistics and small parcel movements, incorporate innovative direct-to-consumer deliveries and support ‘freight as a service’ models. Advances in technology relating to drones and 3D printing also have the potential to impact supply chains and freight movements.

Air freight potential

When we were undertaking consultation as part of Future Transport 2056, we heard strong feedback from regional communities, Councils and industry about the role of aviation in the freight task.

The privately financed Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport was frequently referenced as an example of an airport that has responded to the demand for freight to be transported by air. It is now a major hub for the export of perishable agricultural goods direct to Asia.

Greater Newcastle’s location within the Hunter Valley and its close proximity to major agricultural producers in the North Coast, New England North West and Central West and Orana regions presents an opportunity to capture access to growing markets in Asia and around the world.

Tourism

Greater Newcastle and the surrounding Hunter region is home to nationally and internationally significant tourism destinations and events. Visitors, residents and students are attracted to Greater Newcastle’s amenity, heritage, natural environment, especially its surf beaches, unique waterways, national parks and wetlands. Its diverse range of sporting and cultural events, such as Surfest and Ben Ean Cessnock STOMP Festival, and its cluster of vineyards and wineries add to Greater Newcastle’s tourism appeal and make it an important contributor to the state’s growing visitor economy.

The Hunter received over 3.6 million domestic overnight visitors in 2017, up by 8.7% on the previous year. This number represents a 16.3% share of all domestic visitors to regional NSW. The Hunter also received 194,300 international overnight visitors in 2017, an increase by 13.8% and representing around one in five international visitors to regional NSW.

Newcastle port, already upgraded to host larger ships carrying up to 3,900 passengers, is now well underway to position Newcastle as an international cruise destination. The direct expenditure of passengers and crew makes a significant contribution to the local economy. In 2015/16, 10 cruise ships visited Newcastle meaning Greater Newcastle hosted over 14,000 passengers and 3,500 crew members who spent more than $4.5 million in the local area. The number of ships scheduled to visit will almost double to 18 ships in 2017/18.

Seamlessly connecting cruise passengers and other domestic and international visitors from their point of arrival to their desired local and regional destinations within Greater Newcastle and beyond will support the local and regional economy and help continue to grow visitor numbers.

Newcastle Cruise Terminal and the visitor economy

Newcastle port is upgrading its infrastructure to support the growth of cruise shipping for Greater Newcastle and the Hunter region. The NSW Government has committed $12.7 million to develop a New Cruise Terminal to provide home port facilities, including a new cruise terminal building, a dedicated car park, improved accessibility and wharf in-fill enhancements.

The terminal at the Channel Berth, within the port’s Carrington Precinct, can handle vessels up to 320 metres in length, such as the 317 metre long Celebrity Solstice, the largest ship to visit the port. More than 30 coaches can park at Channel Berth, enabling passengers to quickly transit from the ship to attractions across the Hunter region.

Funding provided by the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Hunter Infrastructure Investment Fund will greatly enhance the cruise passenger experience in Greater Newcastle. The cruise terminal development will be a key part of Newcastle’s revitalisation and is estimated to add around $26.7 million to the local economy.

The construction of the cruise terminal will take place in 2018 and Newcastle port will continue to welcome cruise ships and their passengers as the works take place.

Customer Outcome 7: Safety and Performance

A safe transport system for every customer with zero deaths
or serious injuries on the network by 2056

Safety and performance are interlinked. As we expand and improve the transport networks to meet increased movement of vehicles, people and goods, safety remains our foremost concern. To ensure safe mobility for all customer and freight travel, safety outcomes will be built into our infrastructure and services upfront. Principles to guide this include:

  • Lifting the safety of our roads by designing standards so all new roads are designed to a standard of 4 or 5 star
  • Prioritising separation of different transport users to improve safety, freight efficiency and promotion of active travel
  • Ensuring safety features are better matched to road function and account for the different road users in each environment
  • Encouraging faster adoption of critical safety technologies, and the uptake of new vehicle technologies that provide safer end to end journeys.

Despite a long term decline in road fatalities, there has been a recent increase in fatalities since 2014 across NSW. In 2017, 392 people lost their lives on our roads, almost 70 percent of these fatalities occurred on country roads. Reducing road trauma is a State Priority.

More than two-thirds of NSW road fatalities occur on country roads. Greater Newcastle, like other regional NSW areas, is over-represented in fatal road crash statistics compared to its population. In 2016 there were 34 fatalities in the Greater Newcastle region, accounting for nine percent of the total State road toll. Greater Newcastle represents 7.5 percent of the State’s population.

With the release of the Road Safety Plan 2021 in February 2018, the NSW Government has set an ambitious target to reduce road fatalities by at least 30 per cent on 2008-2010 levels by 2021 with a long term vision of working towards zero trauma on the transport network.

The Road Safety Plan 2021 features targeted and proven initiatives that will help us progress towards our transport safety goals, addressing key trends, trauma risks and the types of crashes occurring on NSW roads. Over the next five years, the NSW Government will deliver key actions in the Plan, including:

A new Saving Lives on Country Roads program to deliver safety infrastructure upgrades on high risk curves and key routes on regional NSW roads Tackle drink and drug driving behaviour by strengthening penalties and enhancing enforcement, including swift, strong and certain penalties for lower range drink driving and drug presence first offenders Develop a new NSW Police enforcement strategy for regional and metropolitan NSW to target high risk behaviour Increase safety for vulnerable road users by providing pedestrian crossings, refuges and traffic calming devices, as well as expanding 40km/h zones in high pedestrian and local areas
Work with the heavy vehicle industry to develop a new heavy vehicle strategy to improve operational safety and increase the uptake of safety technology.

The NSW Government will continue to deliver the Safer Roads Program, which is a state-wide program that delivers targeted safety infrastructure projects to address a variety of road safety issues, such as intersections, fatigue and run off road crashes. The 2017–2018 program will see 200 projects funded, of which almost 70 percent are in regional areas.

Maritime Safety Plan 2017-21

In a region characterised by extensive and scenic waterways, lakes, rivers and coastline, many of our customers in Greater Newcastle who take to the water for commercial or recreational boating will benefit from the initiatives and continued support for maritime safety set out in the NSW Maritime Safety Plan 2017-2021.

The Plan released in January 2018 adopts the internationally recognised Safe System Approach consistent with the Road Safety Plan 2021. This approach recognises that people are the most important element of the system. The Plan sets out initiatives to encourage safe behaviour, safe vessels and safe waterways.

The Plan sets the same ambitious target of reducing the rate of fatalities and serious injuries on NSW waterways by 30 percent by the end of 2021. Our longer term vision is to achieve zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2056.

Over the past five years, the NSW Government has invested more than $500 million in delivering services and infrastructure to the NSW maritime community. Boat registrations, driver licence and mooring fees along with maritime property revenue are paid into the Waterways Fund, established to provide funding for the initiatives contained in the Maritime Safety Plan 2021.

A new Maritime Investment Strategy is being developed on how the Waterways Fund will support evidence-based initiatives in this plan.

Transport for NSW will also continue to investigate the continued application of technology to improve safety on our transport network. As part of the Road Safety Plan 2021, we will increase the uptake of safer new and used vehicle, and will enhance the NSW Government vehicle fleet policy with lifesaving technologies, including autonomous emergency braking and other driver assist technologies. Initiatives such as Smart motorways and trialling new in-vehicle technologies, like Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, hold great potential for reducing road trauma in regions like Greater Newcastle where motorways support high volumes of heavy vehicles.

The Cooperative Intelligent Transport Initiative

Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) allow vehicles to communicate with other vehicles and infrastructure, such as traffic signals, that are fitted with the same system. Drivers then receive alerts about upcoming hazards and traffic signal information. The technology is sometimes referred to as ‘connected vehicles’.

The Centre for Road Safety has established Australia’s first C-ITS testing facility, known as the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Initiative (CITI). Based in the Illawarra region of NSW, the trial has fitted C-ITS technology to up to 60 trucks; 11 public buses; 2 light vehicles and 1 motorcycle. The trial includes 3 signalised intersections, broadcasting signal phase information to C-ITS equipped vehicles; 1 portable roadside unit broadcasting speed limit information to C-ITS equipped vehicles and 3 portable roadside units receiving and collecting data from C-ITS equipped vehicles.

These devices allow drivers in participating vehicles to see the following messages:

  • Intersection collision warning
  • Harsh braking ahead warning
  • Red light alert when light is red or amber
  • Speed limit information.

More than 1 billion records have been collected from the trial for analysis.

CITI is being expanded to include 50 light passenger vehicles. The study will investigate the potential safety benefits and user friendliness of the system.

For more information, visit roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/research/roadsafetytechnology/cits/citi/index.html

Customer Outcome 8: Network Resilience

A transport system that is resilient to significant weather events, including floods, fog and bush fires

Severe climate, weather and catastrophic events, such as extreme heat, bushfire, storms or flooding, pose a significant risk to human safety and cause major disruption to transport networks. Greater Newcastle has experienced several severe events in the past, including major flooding in 2017 and 2015, which caused damage and disruption to its transport connections. It is critical that transport infrastructure systems and services are able to withstand such extreme climate, weather and catastrophic events.

The Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 requires state and local government to plan for a changing climate by ensuring that development responds to existing and changing natural hazard risks. Transport for NSW has identified a number of initiatives in the Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan that will be part of building a resilient network in Greater Newcastle, including:

  • Resilience Package – improving immunity for flood prone regional roads
  • Slopes and culverts condition program – to progressively address and improve the conditions of slopes and culverts in the network
  • Investigating implementation of traffic incident and information services for management of all road closures (i.e. floods and natural disasters)
  • Road improvements which will include flood immunity works such as the Pacific Highway between Belmont and Swansea.

In addition to investments for infrastructure upgrades we need to consider how the transport system can assist emergency management, evacuation and relief in the event of significant weather events in line with the NSW Office of Emergency Management discussion paper on NSW Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy.

Customer Outcome 9: Accessibility to employment and services

Accessibility to employment and services such as health, education, retail and cultural activities within regional cities and centres

The NSW Government recognises the importance of delivering high quality transport services to all customers. A set of three supporting plans for Future Transport 2056 will provide details about how we are improving the accessibility of transport services, infrastructure and products.

  • The first of these to be released is the Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2018 to 2022 which explains the achievements and forward actions that are improving access to transport services for people living with disability.
  • The ways in which our transport services will be tailored to better suit the needs of our older customers so they can maintain active and independent lives will be explained in an Older Persons Transport and Mobility Plan. This plan will set out actions that Transport for NSW will undertake to contribute to the state-wide goals of the NSW Ageing Strategy.
  • A Social Access Plan will explain ways to increase equitable transport access and reduce transport disadvantage, especially for Aboriginal communities. It has been developed with extensive community consultation throughout NSW and will provide guiding principles aimed at successfully connecting people to opportunities that promote social inclusion.

The continued expansion of the passenger network and services in Greater Newcastle will enable more people to access employment, services and cultural and recreational activities. New timetabling for Newcastle Transport came into effect in January 2018 that increased the frequency of bus and ferry services. Monitoring the success of these changes will inform future improvements to frequency and optimise bus routes along key corridors.

The procurement of the New Intercity Fleet will provide accessible rail carriages and the progressive rollout of the Transport Access Program will fund upgrading of rail stations along the rail corridors over the next ten years.

The Transport Access Program has enabled the upgrading of Newcastle’s wharves for people using essential mobility aids. Wheelchair accessible wharves have level or ramped access that allows independent access by a person using a manual wheelchair or walking aid. They are also accessible via electric wheelchairs or scooters when travelling with the help of a friend or carer.

New Intercity Fleet (NIF)

A new fleet of long distance, intercity trains from Sydney to the Central Coast, Newcastle, the Blue Mountains and the South Coast is on the way. The first of the double deck trains consisting of 500 new train carriages will be delivered in 2019 and the rest of the fleet will progressively follow. The new fleet will be serviced and maintained at a new purpose-built train maintenance facility being built at Kangy Angy on the Central Coast.

Some existing rail infrastructure also needs to be upgraded on the intercity network to accommodate the introduction of the NIF. This includes:

  • Platform extensions
  • Installation of CCTV, PA, lighting and station furniture, where required
  • Modifications to station platform edges
  • Modifications to infrastructure within the rail corridor, including the installation and relocation of signalling and overhead wiring structures
  • Re-positioning of rail tracks along parts of the rail corridor
  • The key benefits for customers from the introduction of the NIF are:
  • Wider, more spacious seats with arm rests
  • Battery charging facilities for mobile devices
  • Two by two seating for extra room and comfort
  • Dedicated spaces for luggage, prams, bicycles and wheelchairs
  • Improved accessibility including accessible toilets
  • Tray tables with cup holders
  • Improved customer information through digital information screens and announcements, CCTV and help points, and modern air conditioning.

The Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Program Grants Scheme (CPTIGs) continues to fund regional local councils to deliver upgrades to bus stops to make them compliant with disability standards.

By 2056 improvements to the accessibility of the passenger transport network in NSW will aim to provide barrier free travel for everyone, regardless of age, ability or personal circumstances. This includes making trains, buses and ferries accessible for people who use mobility aids including wheelchairs, scooters, walking frames, prams and strollers, allowing them to safely board and travel on most buses, ferries and trains.

Providing subsidies for the construction or upgrade of bus stops in regional NSW

The CPTIGS provides subsidies to support the construction or upgrade of bus stop infrastructure generally owned and maintained by local councils across regional NSW. The Scheme aims to maximise benefits to country passengers through supporting:

  • More accessible passenger transport, including better connections between bus stops and surrounding communities
  • An increase in the use of passenger transport in country areas through improved awareness of bus stop locations, kerbside information and improved security
  • The development of minor infrastructure to complement passenger service development

Funding is allocated regionally to facilitate an equitable distribution of the grant support and projects. The funding is especially important in areas where there are higher proportions of older people and people with disability to help them use local public transport services.

Under the 2015/17 program the following grants have been approved:

  • Cessnock City Council – $100,000 to upgrade 15 bus shelters and construct seven new shelters.
  • Port Stephens Council – $130,300 to upgrade 73 shelters and construct 3 new shelters.
  • Maitland City Council – $144,000 to upgrade 57 shelters and construct 3 new shelters to comply with disability standards under the Disability Discrimination Act 1993.

For more information see Transport for NSW website www.transport.nsw.gov.au/operations/community-transport-operators/country-passenger-transport-infrastructure-grants-scheme

Customer Outcome 10: Improved connectivity, integrated services and better use of capacity

Customers will enjoy improved efficiency and reliability from their network

Investments in the future transport network to meet the growing demand for the movement of goods and people will require a large financial outlay from a constrained government budget. It is important that new build and upgrades to the network deliver improved connectivity in an integrated system that makes the best use of the existing capacity to ensure that all funds are spent in the most efficient and effective manner.

Fernleigh Track

An example of making better use of existing assets is the Fernleigh Track. The Fernleigh Track is Greater Newcastle’s busiest cycleway with 123 commuting riders counted on the Super Tuesday count in March 2016 (between 7am-8:45am).

The 15 kilometre multi-use track follows a former private railway line which runs between Belmont and Adamstown. Like much of the network it was developed in stages over the course of a decade (the first section between Adamstown and Burwood Road opened in 2003).

As well as being a commuter route, the Fernleigh Track has become a popular visitor destination that takes cyclists though local bushland and the beachside community of Redhead.

Priority corridors

In 2019 Newcastle Light Rail will commence operation, providing a new way of moving through the Newcastle city centre. To support this investment, we need efficient transport connections that enable people to access the Newcastle Light Rail network and city centre.

Seventeen potential priority corridors have been investigated across Greater Newcastle and its strategic centres for investment in priority public transport over the next 10 years. Corridors investigated included connections to Newcastle Airport, University of Newcastle, John Hunter Hospital, Broadmeadow as well as other key destinations. All corridors have been investigated due to their anticipated patronage growth and development, travel trends and opportunities to build upon the existing public transport network. They have been considered in relation to the urban renewal corridors identified in the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 as well as Newcastle Transport’s frequent network implemented in January 2018.

Four priority corridors have been shortlisted for further exploration:

  • Newcastle Interchange – John Hunter Hospital
  • Newcastle Interchange – Wallsend
  • Newcastle Interchange – Mayfield
  • Newcastle Interchange – Charlestown

As part of identifying priority corridors, an analysis was undertaken in relation to the performance of the corridors, identification of bus priority measures to improve performance and a review of light rail constraints.

Introducing bus priority measures in tactical locations can increase journey speed and reliability in the short and medium term delivering more rapid services with potential for light rail in the long term depending on demand. For customers, this will result in improved connectivity between Greater Newcastle’s centres and increased accessibility to opportunities like jobs, health care, education and sports facilities.

This work will provide the foundation for the development of a rapid bus program for Greater Newcastle.

Parking

A strategic approach to the provision of car parking needs to be considered for Greater Newcastle. This includes consideration of parking in centres as well as opportunities for park and ride and car pooling.

Informal car pooling and park and ride currently occurs along key corridors such as Hunter Expressway, Newcastle Link Road and Pacific Highway. We need to develop a plan on how to better manage these opportunities in consideration of the broader transport network, including connecting public transport corridors.

Other opportunities available for consideration include:

  • Using technology to better manage car parking through improved communication and wayfinding, parking enforcement compliance and pricing based on demand
  • Development controls setting maximum parking space requirements in new developments
  • Shared use of car parking spaces e.g. with businesses that only require car parking at certain periods. The use of McDonald Jones Stadium parking by Newcastle City Council’s park and ride service is an example of this currently occurring in Greater Newcastle

A consistent approach to managing parking needs to be achieved across a region; it cannot be undertaken in one area and not others. We will work on delivering parking guidelines for Greater Newcastle to provide direction to local decision makers and developers.

Parking in strategic centres

Previous parking policies have focused on providing parking to meet the demand in centres. However, ease of parking results in traffic congestion, decreases the viability of public transport and detracts from the amenity of places as they focus on vehicle access and not access for people. These policy positions should be considered:

  • Parking should support customer and business service needs
  • Sustainability should drive parking supply, not demand, recognising:
    • The need for parking turnover
    • Reallocation of all day parking away from centres that are supported by strong public transport networks
  • Maximising value in parking spaces particularly in centres through:
    • Prioritisation of short stay, high turn-over spaces over long stay, low turn-over spaces
    • On street parking for short stay uses only
    • Reduction in time limits for on-street parking
  • Parking to support transport objectives through:
    • Progressive reduction of relative parking supply or pricing as a travel demand management tool to encourage mode shift to public and active transport.

Commuter car parking

Commuter car parks (CCPs) are an important component of an integrated transport network with both strategic and customer benefits. We are investigating the role that CCPs have in NSW’s public transport network to develop overarching guiding principles for locating and prioritising CCPs. The guiding principles will help to inform the analysis, evaluation, and prioritisation of new or expanded commuter car park locations. While these guiding principles are in development, they may consider:

  • How CCPs may provide access to rail and high capacity bus interchanges for populations not well served by public transport
  • Frequency and type of available public transport
  • Strategic importance of the location and ensuring land use supports placemaking and economic outcomes
  • Future land use changes and urban renewal
  • Existing parking capacity (on and off street)
  • Patronage
  • Operational interventions and service alternatives to better utilise existing CCP facilities.

This prioritisation and development process helps to ensure that planning for new or expanded commuter car parking favours locations that would derive the most benefit and where additional parking would most effectively address customer needs.