Bruce McDougall, The Daily Telegraph
November 9, 2018 12:00am
PLANNING genius John Bradfield would “turn in his grave” if he saw the transport “catastrophes” unfolding in Sydney today, one of NSW’s former top bureaucrats says.
John Lee, who headed the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Transport for NSW, has slammed the decision to run trams along George Street as “ill conceived, rushed, late and over budget”.
“It is the government’s biggest mistake and Bradfield would be horrified,” Mr Lee will tell a conference of 400 transport leaders in Sydney today.
John Lee has described the project as “ill conceived, rushed, late and over budget”.
He said John Bradfield would be “turning in his grave”.
The former transport tsar who has also run the Roosters and Rabbitohs rugby league clubs, told The Daily Telegraph yesterday light rail should never have been considered for George St when trains already ran underneath the city.
“Bradfield would have pointed out that directly under George St sits loads of wires and utility cables and a little thing called the City Circle,” he said.
“Heavy railway delivers up to 40,000 people an hour — trams are lucky to deliver one quarter of that. This has been a very expensive exercise for very little good outcome.”
RELATED: Upcoming Sydney Light Rail Tribunal Hearing 21 November 2018 (Open to the public.)
Mr Lee said light rail should never have been considered for George St as trains deliver more people than trams.
It is 75 years since the death of Bradfield, who planned the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the electrification of the railways and the design and construction of the City Circle underground.
Mr Lee said Bradfield would not have supported a plan to turn his underground tunnels beneath Hyde Park into bars, night clubs and retail shops.
A better idea would be to use the tunnels to “put the buses underground”.
Daily Telegraph November 9 2018
Footnote: Former Transport Engineer Alex Kleytman (part of the Sydney Light Rail Action Group) has been saying this for the last four years, and, as recently as the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Light Rail.
Mr Kleytman still maintains that the project should be immediately stopped, due to the massive congestion that it will cause the city, and the casualties and fatalities that it will cause due to the non-separation of the light rail from pedestrians and motor vehicles.