Delivering a metropolis of three cities will require the integration of land use and transport planning to create walkable and 30-minute cities. To achieve this, Future Transport 2056 and A Metropolis of Three Cities propose the concept of a 30-minute city.
The vision for Greater Sydney is one where people can access jobs and services in their nearest metropolitan and strategic centre.
The 30-minute city is a long-term aspiration that will guide decision-making on locations for new transport, housing, jobs, tertiary education, hospitals and other amenities. It means that they will be planned for metropolitan and strategic centres and more people will have public transport access to their closest metropolitan or strategic centre within 30 minutes. This will enable more efficient access to workplaces, services and community facilities.
As the population of the Central City District grows, land use, transport and infrastructure planning will be integrated. Initiatives to support integration in line with population and economic growth include:
- city-shaping transport providing faster services for a larger number of commuters to better connect people to centres and services - committed and proposed links to the Harbour CBD and the Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis
- capacity and reliability improvements on existing transport corridors serving Greater Parramatta and surrounding centres
- improved city-serving and centre-serving transport links between strategic centres, and as feeders into city-shaping corridors including bus priority infrastructure to support new services
- improvements to the strategic road network which may include both new roads and roadspace reallocation to prioritise the efficient movement of people and goods on transport corridors and key intersections to improve movement through the District and access to strategic centres
- strategic freight network improvements including the Northern Sydney Freight Line and the Southern Sydney Freight Line
- travel behaviour change programs to help manage demand on the transport network
- on-demand bus services on selected local bus routes, currently being trialled in Greystanes, to provide more convenience and choice for customers, and improving the efficiency of the transport network and providing more choice for first and last mile access to the train network
- investment in Smart Roads, which will support the financial sustainability of the transport system by better using existing road infrastructure, and enable future forms of mobility such as connected and automated vehicles.
A Metropolis of Three Cities and Future Transport 2056 outline the city-shaping public transport network and strategic road network initiatives which are integrated with the land use objectives for Greater Sydney. The relevant transport initiatives for this District, and their role in supporting land use outcomes are outlined in:
- Planning Priority C7: Growing a stronger and more competitive Greater Parramatta
- Planning Priority C8: Delivering a more connected and competitive GPOP Economic Corridor.
In addition, growth and change around the Sydney Metro Northwest stations from Epping to Cudgegong Road will be subject to an updated corridor strategy.
This strategy will acknowledge the unique character of station precincts, plan for an appropriate mix of housing and jobs, consider options for interim activation of the station precincts, and plan for the future of surplus NSW Government-owned land.
Source: Transport for NSW
Note: Timing, staging and station/stop locations for new corridors are indicative and subject to further assessment.
The city-serving network will provide high-frequency services within approximately 10 kilometres of the metropolitan centres and metropolitan cluster. This will support public transport access within some of the highest density residential areas in Greater Sydney where demand for travel is most concentrated. As these inner urban areas in the three cities develop further, the NSW Government will investigate increasing the reliability and frequency of these public transport services.
The city-serving network enables and supports higher density residential areas by offering convenient and reliable connectivity to key destinations.
The current city-serving network is characterised by scheduled ferry, bus, light rail and train services as well as walking and cycling networks. The network provides access across the Eastern Harbour City and the Central River City and in some centres with the Western Parkland City.
Over the next 10 years the NSW Government has committed to increasing the capacity of the city-serving network. This includes increasing the role of public transport through greater prioritisation of bus services along city-serving corridors and within centres to improve 30-minute access, and investing in priority walking and cycling networks around the centres.
The NSW Government will also investigate improvements to the frequency of public transport services, including more on-demand-services, across all city-serving modes of public transport to improve 30-minute access and support growth.
By 2036, the areas surrounding the Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis will be more urbanised than today. Residents within these areas will require reliable, fast and frequent public transport to access jobs and services. The NSW Government is committed to meeting the transport needs of residents and will investigate how emerging technology and on-demand services will help meet the needs of Western Parkland City residents.
Improving access to local jobs and services
The District's strategic and local centres provide a range of local jobs and services that support the growing population. Encouraging the growth of strategic and local centres will reduce the need for people to travel long distances to access jobs and services.
Access to strategic centres and interchanges will be supported by city-serving and centre-serving public transport and an improved road network.
Key elements of the road and city-serving and centre-serving public transport network committed, or to be investigated in the next 20 years, include:
- Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 between Westmead and Carlingford via Parramatta (currently under construction) and Stage 2 joining Stage 1 to the rapidly developing suburbs of Ermington, Melrose Park, Wentworth Point and Sydney Olympic Park
- joining the Liverpool-Parramatta T-Way with the Northwest T-Way via Westmead to support through-routing of buses to boost transport capacity and improve bus services between centres to the north and south of Parramatta
- Victoria Road transport improvements to support the provision of frequent, reliable and efficient transport to Greater Parramatta and the Harbour CBD which will integrate with, and complement, other committed and proposed initiatives within the corridor including WestConnex, Parramatta Light Rail and Sydney Metro West
- additional low-wash ferries for Parramatta River
- infrastructure to support rapid bus connections between Western Sydney Airport and Blacktown
- rapid bus services between Parramatta to Bankstown and Hurstville/Kogarah to support the efficiency and reliability of passenger journeys and to improve 30-minute access to Greater Parramatta
- Parramatta Inner Ring Road improvements to existing surface roads on the outskirts of Parramatta so they function as the arterial movement corridors, which in turn will support walking and cycling in the centre.
Safeguarding the next phase of growth
Corridor protection, integrated with land use planning, will safeguard the Central City District's next phase of growth. Where possible, the proactive and early reservation of corridors to protect longer term linear infrastructure opportunities should be undertaken to provide greater clarity and certainty for landowners, communities and businesses. The early preservation of corridors also reduces the potential for conflict in the future.
Priority corridors identified for protection include the Western Sydney Freight Line, North-South Rail Link from Schofields to Western Sydney Airport as well as the Outer Sydney Orbital and Bells Line of Road-Castlereagh Connection.
Other transport corridors will be protected into the future to allow for additional transport options.
Improving connections to the Western Parkland City
The Blacktown Local Government Area has a significant and diverse array of economic activities and assets and is strategically located at the interface between the Central River City and Western Parkland City. It contributes significantly to the economies of both cities through its industrial precincts, health and education activities, diverse recreational facilities and emerging centres such as Marsden Park, which would benefit from a potential future transport connection to St Marys, Western Sydney Airport-Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis and Campbelltown-Macarthur.
Improving public transport connections from the Blacktown Local Government Area to Parramatta and the Western Economic Corridor can help boost productivity in both the Central River City and the Western Parkland City.
Improving walking and cycling
Walking is a fundamental part of the transport system and most journeys start and end with walking. On a typical weekday in the Central City District, people make about 1.3 million trips that are shorter than two kilometres and approximately 800,000 (61 per cent) of these are walking and cycling trips14. Pleasant and safe environments for walking and cycling contribute to great places where people and businesses choose to locate and invest.
Transport for NSW will prioritise a network of high quality cycling links within 10 kilometres of Greater Parramatta and five kilometres of the strategic centres to provide healthy transport choices, improve access to public transport and support 30-minute city and place-making outcomes.
Safe cycling for short trips to centres, transport interchanges and local services such as schools and health services will free capacity for people who need to travel further by road and public transport.
Transport for NSW is establishing a bicycle network hierarchy in collaboration with councils. The Principal Bicycle Network will establish high quality, high-priority routes to facilitate safe and direct connections to centres. This Principal Bicycle Network will form the transport layer of the Greater Sydney Green Grid (refer to Planning Priority C16).
Regional and local routes identified in local government bike plans will connect to the Principal Bicycle Network to facilitate a seamless and connected network within urban areas. Local streets will connect to these routes to provide door-to-door access for safe cycling.
Designing adaptable infrastructure
Innovation and the digital economy are dramatically changing the way people and goods move around Greater Sydney, providing more efficient service delivery.
Technological advances have created new mobility options including automated vehicles, assisted mobility devices such as e-bikes, automated trains and buses, and enhanced aerial mobility. Strategic planning must harness innovation and accommodate new technologies to create new opportunities for improved productivity and accessibility to jobs, goods and services.
The NSW Government is introducing intelligent technology, known as a managed motorway system, to Sydney's motorways. Work has commenced on the M4 Smart Motorway project which will use real-time information, communication and traffic management tools to maximise the performance of the motorway and provide a safer, smoother and more reliable journey.
Throughout Greater Sydney, there are many examples where councils and State agencies are embracing new technologies to promote adaptable infrastructure. For example, Blacktown City Council is investing in smart poles where electric vehicle drivers can charge their cars for free. In Sydney Olympic Park, Transport for NSW is trialling a driverless passenger bus to observe how automated vehicles can improve the mobility of customers and interact with other people. In planning for adaptable infrastructure, opportunities for more flexible design of streets and public spaces - for example, through car parking strategies - must be considered.
Optimising infrastructure assets
To make the most of existing infrastructure assets, planning must constantly explore opportunities to support behavioural change, unlock infrastructure capacity and manage demand, and use land more efficiently by co-locating similar or mixed services or utilities. New technologies could improve traffic management and contribute to the more efficient use of existing infrastructure.
Freight-related initiatives underway or under investigation in the District include WestConnex, NorthConnex, the Western Sydney Freight Line and Intermodal Terminal, the Western Sydney Fuel Pipeline and Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Stage 2. These contribute to the Transport for NSW service outcomes of 24/7 access for freight to the rail network between gateways and intermodal terminals, and 40 per cent of container movements to and from Port Botany by rail by 2056.
As the Central City District grows, the need for freight movements, particularly delivery vehicles, will rise. Freight movements can affect the amenity of communities, through noise and congestion on roads, particularly during morning peak hours. Freight movements outside peak times can help reduce congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and freight costs. The planning and design of neighbourhoods should minimise the negative impacts of freight movements and support more efficient freight movements. This could include considering how development addresses busy roads, the siting of loading docks and how more freight movements can happen out of peak hours.