Thank you for your amazing support in the recent Council election. I am delighted to be representing you again and I look forward to working with my stellar North Ward team – Clr Dr Peter Gangemi and Clr Brooke Collins OAM.
I have been appointed Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Bushfire Management Committee for the next 12 months, which is an absolute honour and privilege. I am also looking forward to supporting your popularly elected Mayor Clr Dr Michelle Byrne as we continue to serve you with pride.
Park and Ride
When construction of the Sydney Metro Northwest is complete, there will be six stations within The Hills Shire, ready to transport commuters to and from the area.
How good it that … or not? You see only three of those stations will provide car parking. Rouse Hill, Norwest and Castle Hill will have none. At a recent North Ward community meeting that I attended, that news went down like a lead balloon. Residents living in many parts of North Ward often have four cars per home because public transport isn’t a practical option.
Hills residents have grown up depending on the car, so even if they embrace train travel when it becomes a reality, unless they are within walking distance, they will expect to be able to drive to the station and park. Having a new rail system will take thousands of cars off the road each day, if we make it easy to commute to the Metro stations. That’s why I am advocating ‘Park and Ride’ solutions around The Hills Shire.
If fifty percent of Hills Metro stations don’t have car parking, let’s bus people to and from train stations and commuter car parks to enable maximum capacity at every station and to give residents the choice of where their train journey starts each time they travel. These ‘Park and Ride’ locations could also be Uber and taxi friendly drop off and pick up points, hence reducing the number of vehicles on the immediate roads around the train stations.
I think we should be looking at all Council Wards when identifying ‘Park and Ride’ locations because the intention is to reduce road congestion on our road network Shire wide. There is even more urgency to find a solution with the ‘high rise’ density we have unfolding around each of the commuter hubs. We need to get serious about moving people in, around and away from train stations in the most efficient way. I have asked Council to investigate and will update you when practical.