Calls have been renewed for the Belconnen Transitway bus routes to be completed in full in a bid to improve travel times for commuters.
Two petitions, one sponsored by Labor MLA Tara Cheyne, the other created by Greens MLA Jo Clay, want bus lanes to be built on Haydon Drive and Belconnen Way as part of the strategy commissioned by consultancy firm AECOM 2011.
The Public Transport Association of Canberra (PTCBR) is also backing the plan, which was partially delivered by the ACT government.
PTCBR outlined the bus links among other recommendations in its 2023-24 ACT Budget submission.
The association’s chair Ryan Hemsley says the transitway would improve services in the long run, and support access to amenities such as the northside hospital in Bruce, which will undergo a $1 billion expansion.
Mr Hemsley says it would also complement a future light rail line to Belconnen as part of Stage 3 of the project.
“The current preferred option is to run light rail along Haydon Drive and Belconnen Way,” Mr Hemsley says.
“We think delivering the transitway now, widening that road corridor, planning for where the light rail stations and track will go and doing that now will save us a lot of time, disruption, and money when light rail is delivered to Belconnen in the next decade.”
Belconnen resident Heidi Prowse OAM has recently launched a petition sponsored by Member for Ginninderra Tara Cheyne, advocating for the remaining parts of the transitway to be rolled out.
ACT Greens transport spokesperson Jo Clay previously moved a motion in the Legislative Assembly, calling on the government to deliver the bus links in 3 years.
In a statement, Transport Minister Chris Steel says “Belconnen to the City is one of the busiest public transport corridors in Canberra.”
“Whilst the government implemented bus priority measures in key locations from Belconnen to City in the past, the studies on further options to improve bus priority in the corridor are now a decade old,” Minister Steel says.
“Previous assumptions may have changed because of the ongoing growth of Belconnen and it is reasonable to reconsider other bus priority options on the basis of updated traffic modelling and consideration of future development of housing, health and tertiary education precincts in the region.”