Less congestion, faster O-Bahn, renewed Parklands & East End in $160m project

Premier Jay Weatherill and Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan have unveiled a revised $160 million proposal for a guided bus tunnel from Hackney Road to the city.

The State Government’s proposal will provide quicker, more reliable access for O-Bahn buses into the city and will reduce congestion on Adelaide’s Inner City Ring Route.

The project will also dramatically transform the city’s East End and provide opportunities to enhance the East Parklands.

The plan includes a 500-metre bus tunnel from Hackney Road to a changed Rundle Road providing a quicker and more reliable service for Adelaide’s most patronised public transport service.

The improved plan will have numerous benefits including:

  • Better travel times for O-Bahn bus passengers – on average, daily bus commute times reduced by seven minutes
  • Increased capacity and reduced congestion on Adelaide’s Inner City Ring Route
  • Closing Rundle Road returning more than 3000 square metres of land to Rundle Park
  • Significant improvements to the East End precinct
  • Support about 450 jobs during construction
  • Provide for future EastLink tram corridor
  • Strong benefit cost ratio

Mr Weatherill said the project would deliver on a promise made at the Election and represented another important investment in the state’s public transport network.

“We know we need to get more people on to public transport and convince them to leave their cars at home to reduce congestion and carbon emissions in and around our city,” he said.

“Along with the city tram extensions and the Seaford line electrification, this project will contribute to ongoing growth in public transport patronage into the future.”

Mr Mullighan said more than 31,000 people use the O-Bahn on working days making it the most popular public transport network in Adelaide.

“Each year commuters make more than eight million journeys on the O-Bahn which is about the same number as those who use our two busiest rail services – the Seaford and Gawler lines – combined,” he said.

Mr Weatherill said the closure of Rundle Road and realigning it further to the south would return more land to the East Parklands and enhance the space.

“At the moment it’s playing host to the Adelaide Fringe’s Garden of Unearthly Delights but we want to transform it into one of Adelaide’s premier outdoor event spaces that will attract other festivals and events,” he said.

“By closing Rundle Road we are able to return more than 3000 square metres of land to Rundle Park.”

Mr Mullighan said public consultation on the improved plan would begin today.

“We will be undertaking an extensive stakeholder and community consultation process, including information sessions around Adelaide including in the Parklands,” he said.

“We look forward to working closely with the Adelaide City Council, East End traders and other key stakeholders on this project.

“South Australians will have the opportunity to put forward their views on the revised proposal and make sure we are delivering the best possible outcome for our great city.”

During the public consultation process information sessions will be held in the Tea Tree Gully Library on March 18, Rundle Mall on March 19 and the Adelaide Bowling Club on March 21.

Source: News Release, Government of South Australia, 25 February, 2015

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