In a bid to ease future traffic concerns around Weston Creek, the Act Greens are fighting for improved public transport services for the area.
Greens transport spokeswoman Amanda Bresnan said she envisaged an area off Cotter Road being a public transport hub for both existing residents in Weston Creek and future residents in Molongo .
“The area really needs an improved public transport system,” Ms Bresnan said.
“Once the surrounding [Molonglo] suburbs have people move in, it is going to get a lot busier.
“Weston Creek will be the place everyone from Molonglo goes, and we need to be planning for the future to cater for the influx of new residents”.
Ms Bresnan said the park and ride was key for transport in the area.
“Previous park and rides have shown that if you give people the option of using public transport, they will use it,” she said.
“They have proved popular in a number of locations, particularly in Mawson .
“The area near the new pond off Cotter Road would be ideal.
“There will be infrastructure already in place at this site and will have’ enough space for around 30 to 40 car spaces at first.”
Deputy Chairman of the Weston Creek Community Council Tom Anderson said he was in favour of a park and ride in Weston Creek as long as it wasn’t located near Cooleman Court, as there was already enough strain on the parking in this area.
He said time was of the essence if the park and ride was to happen. “We need to get in early with this as we need to get the new residents used to using the bus service,” Mr Anderson said.
“If the service isn’t there when they move in they are going to get in the habit of driving to work and that will be hard to break.”
Mr Anderson. said better public service was needed for Weston Creek, as the population was ageing, with about 40 per cent of the population set to be at retirement age in the next five years. Ms Bresnan said the current bus service was not ideally designed, as in the” peak morning period four buses picked up passengers in We in the space of 15 minutes, close to an hour before another arrived.
“IT is not well designed at the moment, as if you miss the bus you have to wait for an hour for the next one to come,” Ms Bresnan said.
“If it was looked at, it could be done better, the buses could be spaced further apart.”
A spokeswoman from the Department of Territory and Municipal Services said services for new Molonglo suburbs were being planned consistent with the Strategic Public Transport Network Plan.
“The draft Molonglo service plan proposes peak express services from Coombs and’ Wright to the Parliamentary Zone and City, and a local feeder route to Woden via Cooleman Court,” she said.
The spokeswoman said a park and ride/bike and ride facility was under consideration for construction in 2011-12. A feasibility study on a location for the site is set to be completed by the end of June, 2011.
“All of this will be subject to budget considerations and consultation with the community prior to the introduction of any new or revised services,” she said.
by Peter Reynolds
The Southside Chronicle 17 May 2011