By Julian Bajkowski
The New South Wales state government has called for submissions from the community and businesses in the CBD on the impact of tearing down the city’s iconic transport novelty, the monorail.
According to documents released by the government, the final monorail service will run on the last day of the financial year, June 30th 2013 with planning now underway for its removal.
“In planning for the removal work, Transport for NSW has assessed potential environmental impacts – such as traffic, transport and access; heritage, noise and vibration, visual amenity, socio-economics and sustainability – and developed measures to mitigate any potential impacts,” the documents say.
The impact on CBD businesses and traffic is likely to substantial given the Simpsonesque infrastructure runs on a heavy steel structure above major streets in the city and Darling Harbour.
City businesses were initially highly hostile to the building of the overhead line because it transported otherwise ground-based commuters and potential customers over the top of them. At the same time many businesses were disrupted while the edifice was constructed.
Now occupants in the same locations will have to endure months of demolition and deconstruction as the tracks are taken away.
Completed in 1988, just too late for bicentenary celebrations, the privately backed monorail polarised the community because it put in place new transport infrastructure that was not linked or operated by existing public transport providers.
The rollout of disconnected and disparate transport services was followed by the Sydney Light Rail.
Both Sydney’s monorail and the light rail were eventually acquired by the NSW Government, a move that effectively admitted attempts to have competing rather than integrated transport providers had been an expensive failure.
Businesses and the City of Sydney are now lobbying for the light rail to be extended further into the CBD as a way to ease bus congestion.
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