July 25, 2024

It’s difficult to overcome the impression that we’re stuck in the 1970s in the area of planning infrastructure, such as airports.

The Federal government has finally revealed Badgerys Creek in Sydney’s southwest as the city’s new airport, with a plan to put out a tender but with no details regarding the purpose of the airport or its potential passengers.

In the last week in the week that was just over, it was reported that the Victorian government had announced in an unconfirmed manner the intention to move forward with construction of the Melbourne airport rail line cost as well as benefits, delivery timeframes, and the network’s integration requirements are all are uncertain.

The two distinct instances of Sydney and Melbourne are a sign of outdated Australian conceptions about major infrastructure projects, revealing an attitude towards the use of jets and cars.

Is Melbourne stuck with cars?

Melbourne’s railway link to the airport is an extended time to get. We recognize its necessity. However, how it will integrate into the existing network of transit is vital. It is also important to consider how it will be integrated into the existing transit network. Melbourne planners are stuck in the 1970s notion that people will use a car to and from its airport.

A rail line serving the A-to-B travel route (from Victoria’s Southern Cross station to Tullamarine airport) is likely to attract a certain number of passengers. Still, the benefits won’t be as great for people living in the east or north of Melbourne and west, who must go through the CBD in order to get access to Southern Cross.

Travelers coming through Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs or the southeast must change trains except if there are plans to connect directly.

Numerous instances from around the world demonstrate the best method to build airport links. For example, in Osaka as well as Tokyo, There are at most three distinct “airport express services” per airport, each catering to various residential areas, largely using rail corridors that are already in place.

In the case of Melbourne, this could be accomplished if a variety of services joined at the airport. We should plan for future service that is airport-bound and originate from Dandenong, Frankston, and from the still-to-be-built Doncaster railway corridor.

In addition, travelers from the north and west can be provided with convenient interchange points in the suburbs to the west in Footscray and Sunshine and Arden-Macauley towards the north.

These concepts don’t have to cost more from an infrastructure standpoint. However, they do require the “network” mentality that doesn’t influence Melbourne in the present. In reality, rail is an additional consideration in Melbourne.

Sydney The world has changed from jet travel.

The Sydney airport story is interesting for its outdated concepts. Sydney “can’t do without” an additional, 24-hour airport, as we’re told to alleviate congestion and anticipate the future needs of the population. Premier Tony Abbott announced an A$3 billion road plan (albeit it was scuppered by the shocking decision to resign NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell) to accompany the announcement.

Japan’s Kansai airport is home to a population of around 25 million. Greater Tokyo, with nearly 35 million inhabitants, can get by with just two airports. London hosts three international airports. However, it serves a huge region, Southeast England, with a population of 20 million or more.

The federal government has rejected the possibility of conducting an exhaustive airport study, and the minister for infrastructure, Warren Truss, has repeatedly refused to provide specific figures regarding the Western Sydney airport’s passenger numbers.

As of now, there’s no information on what the mixture of domestic and freight travel will be like or the way it will serve international flights.

This Badgerys Creek announcement effectively says “enough” to the idea of high-speed rail links to Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra.

However, studies on the potential of high-speed railways in Australia have repeatedly shown that HSR could capture a large part of the traffic from Sydney and Melbourne and between the two cities as well as Canberra.

It would imply that just one airport serves Sydney (leaving aside the location of that airport). Travel between cities on the East Coast is likely to shift to faster trains, whereas one Sydney airport would be able to concentrate more on international connectivity.

The Sydney idealism is stuck in the 1970s, the time when travel by jet was the hottest new trend. However, since then, the world has changed. High-speed rail travel is now the most popular option for travel within countries.

Moving away from old assumptions

Committing to a new infrastructure is risky when the idea isn’t considered current or if motives of a political nature are at the forefront.

We’re now confronting the problems in the 21st century and certainly not just the mid-20th century. Therefore, it’s time to shake off the simple obsessions with planes and roads that prevailed just a few years ago.


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