Return of the tram

Well, so it appears these tracks are about to come back!

BARRY O’FARRELL will gamble on returning Sydney to its past to head off a congestion-choked future, promising to run trams from the northern end of the central business district into the eastern suburbs half a century after they were ripped out.

The commitment to light rail from Circular Quay to Central Station, through Surry Hills and to Randwick and Kingsford was the main new element in the long-term transport master plan released on Thursday, a document intended to map out projects and policies for the next 20 years…

The track goes up Devonshire Street from Chalmers Street and then along the old tram corridor (seen above as I remember it in the 1950s) to Randwick and UNSW. What a bloody good thing! Why, we’ll be able to take the tram right to The Shakespeare Hotel and the Trinity Bar!

Given past plays between Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Barry O’Farrell – after all he engineered her departure from the NSW Parliament only to find her nominee replaced her, of course – it is nice and Christmassy to find them in such agreement on this one.

Sydney is continually recognised for its liveability and increasingly for its sustainability but we fall behind on transport – our congestion is deeply frustrating to the people who live and work here, as well as to those who visit.

The government’s decision to invest in light rail will transform Sydney – and not just the city centre. By creating a light rail network, which starts in the CBD and that could link up with Green Square, Barangaroo and to Parramatta Road, the government is addressing the decades of inaction that has crippled our state…

This transport plan shows the City of Sydney and state government can work together to solve our biggest challenges and to rebuild the trust Sydneysiders lost a long time ago in our city’s transport.

Clover Moore is the lord mayor of Sydney.