Community push for light rail on gay mile
A Surry Hills record store owner has launched a grassroots campaign to help bring back trams down Lower Oxford Street, with the NSW Government eyeing off three separate routes for a light rail line that is expected to extend to the University of NSW and as far south as Kingsford.
The NSW Government along with City of Sydney and Randwick Council are currently working on plans as part of a draft transport masterplan for Sydney to implement a light rail line linking the city’s east and south-eastern suburbs to the CBD and the University of Sydney.
Three separate routes connecting to the University of NSW are currently being considered; an underground tunnel through Surry Hills, an above-ground route via Devonshire Street or a route that would take in Taylor Square before heading down Oxford Street.
Stephan Gyory, owner of The Recordstore on Crown Street, told SX this week that he begun a campaign to bring back light rail to Oxford Street as the area was in need of urgent rejuvenation. An internet petition he started has already collected close to 1,050 signatures.
“My plan may not be the best solution but it will allow an opportunity to reverse the damage done to Oxford Street. It’s unfeasible to have a main street in Australia’s biggest city as a six-lane highway,” Gyory said.
“Younger people like the environmental benefits, older people get nostalgic and even real estate agents think it’s a good idea because property values in the area would increase.
“Oxford Square would be a perfect spot for a stop. I don’t think residents along the other mooted line on Devonshire Street would want footy crowds and late night crowds disembarking.”
A City of Sydney spokesperson has told SX despite not being at liberty to discuss “technical or transport aspects of the project”, including the possibility of light rail down Oxford Street, the City welcomes the prospect of a light rail link to the University of NSW.
When contacted by SX, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian refused to comment specifically on Oxford Street but did confirm that all plans were still up for consideration.
Public submissions into the draft transport masterplan close this week on Friday, April 27.
Sign the petition: http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/light-rail-for-oxford-street-sydney
WHAT YOU SAID ...
Owner, Aussie Boys
I agree with it because I think it would be a calming effect on the traffic and that’s what we need. The biggest point that I can see is that buses go up here at 10,000 kilometres an hour, cars zoom pass you and bikes going everywhere. I think the stopping and starting of trams is much quieter and it will make it a much better place.
Oxford Street Design Store
I think it would definitely be a good thing. It’s really loud, especially with our roller door open all the time. It’s crazy loud. It’s really fast-paced out there, people just kind of walk along, and I mean they do stop but if it was more of a sedate atmosphere along Oxford Street people would be more inclined to mooch along like they do down Crown Street.
Marketing Manager, Stonewall Hotel
We think it’s fantastic, we definitely need it. There’s no parking around here and light rail would be a benefit to Oxford Street. In the daytime if people are shopping, then people are coming into the hotel in the daytime, people are eating, there’s activity on the street. It would be much safer as there’s no parking around here and walking to train stations can be dangerous at night.
I think it would be a great idea. The buses down here are great but they don’t go all the way down most of the time. The opportunity to get from one area to the other as easy as possible is pretty good.
I think it would be a pretty good idea. I’m from Switzerland and in my city we have trams as well. It’s really practical as a form of public transport. A lot more people can take it as it’s bigger than a bus.
I think it’s a really good idea. It works very well in Melbourne. It’s always a kind of a treat going down to Melbourne and getting to go on the trams. I think it would be a good idea regardless.