Sydney Light Rail

Sydney Light Rail Action Group.

The Sydney Light Rail Action Group was formed by a group of local residents in 2016 as a response to the Killing of our ANZAC Memorial Trees on ANZAC Parade. Light rail can co-exist with trees.

So far, over 350 trees have been killed, with over another 1,000 trees forecast yet to be killed and mutilated for the project. We are opposed to the tree destruction and will continue to advocate for a win win solution that will save all the trees.Anzac Parade 1917 Added Port Jackson Figs Photo 1928

The Light Rail would connect Circular Quay with Kingsford and Randwick, on a 12km route via Central and Moore Park. The project is supposed to be an environmental solution to Sydney’s traffic congestion, and get buses off the road.

But, is there any actual benefit to the project?

Is it faster than our existing buses? No

Is it higher capacity per hour than our existing buses? No

Is it more frequent than our existing buses? No

Is it safer than our existing buses? No

Is there more pram and wheelchair spaces per hour? No

Is it better for property developers and investors? No

Is it better for the environment? No

Is there any benefit to the CBD and South East Light Rail Project? No

Is there any reason to continue to waste $2.2 billion of NSW Taxpayers’ money? No

Is there a better solution? Yes

LR_Forum_PosterThe project has so far blown out from $1.6 Billion to over $2.1 billion dollars ($2,100,000,000 of NSW taxpayer money) and would not be due for completion until 2019.

Daily Telegraph: “TREASURER Gladys Berejiklian has been accused of misleading taxpayers by claiming a $500 million light rail cost blowout was the result of “huge wins” rather than a botched business case when she was transport minister.” Read Full Article 

What can we do to save the trees and buses?

  1. Campaign for an immediate stop to all tree destruction. (Hundreds of trees to be killed/pruned Summer 2016/2017)
  2. Demand that the government stop their allegedly misleading advertising and marketing claiming that the light rail is high capacity, high frequency, reliable, high speed, or of any benefit, as it has now been proven that it is none of these things.
  3. Campaign for a win win solution – many options available like electric buses ($2 billion cheaper, or finishing the Bondi Junction to Kingsford underground Rail (Up to $1 billion cheaper – both with no trees killed.
  4. Isn’t it a “done-deal” The Baird Government have already proved they are very capable of reversing any of their decisions, but will only do so with massive ‘people-power’ support. And thats where you come in!

Word of mouth. Find out the truth! Don’t just take our word for it. Tell someone what’s really going on. Most people (ourselves included) thought that the light rail was going to be great, until we learnt the truth.

Call talkback radio, and speak loudly, clearly and slowly, and call from a landline if you can. When you speak on radio, leave a contact number for people to call for further information – Call 0414 755 621 or for further information, or email or go to the website:

Call, write to or meet your local politicians. Call Mike Baird (02) 8574 5000 Call Malcolm Turnbull (02) 6277 7700 Full media and politician contacts click here.

Join the campaign: please phone 0414 755 621 or email via the contact form:

If you’d like to make a donation (non tax deductible) you can transfer money to this account:

Account Name: Save The Trees And Buses
BSB: 082001
Account Number: 426225848

The Group is run entirely by volunteers.

All queries and media enquires to John Bellamy 0414 755 621

Wide range of transport, traffic, economic, political, engineering and environmental experts available to speak with.

Professor Emeritus Helen Armstrong Landscape Architect and Consultant
Professor-Emeritus in Landscape Architecture, Queensland University of Technology, Associate, Institute of Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney

Transport Consultants Peter Egan, Andrew Roydhouse, Jim Donovan

Hospitals  Precincts: Kay and Brian Jarvie

Randwick Council: Councillor Tony Bowen, others on request.

Student and Staff Contacts for The University Of NSW on request.

Local Members: Michael Daley and Matt Thistlethwaite and Bruce Notley-Smith

Chambers of Commerce and Small Business Representatives from CBD, Kensington, Kingsford and Randwick

Total Environment Centre: Jeff Angel, Corinne Fisher and Dave Burgess

Planning Expert Tony Recsei (Save Our Suburbs)

Documentary Producer: Randall Wood

Blogger: Sue Abbott

If you would like to be added to our growing list of media contacts, please let us know.

Other Activist Groups

The government’s own transport advisory group, Infrastructure NSW – headed up by former Premier, Nick Greiner, condemned the idea of light rail in Sydney – why were there recommendations ignored? Read below for more information:

Infrastructure NSW condemns Light Rail:

Infrastructure NSW was created in 2011 by the then Premier of New South WalesBarry O’Farrell. It is now responsible to the current Premier, Mike Baird MP. In 2011, O’Farrell appointed former Liberal Premier Nick Greiner as chairman.

The following are excerpts from the State Infrastructure Strategy report “First Things First”  advising against light rail in Sydney: Chapter 7.0 “Light Rail and Bus in Sydney” For the full report please click here

“As an example, light rail vehicles of 45 metres in length have a greater capacity than a high capacity bus, however high capacity buses can be run more regularly than light rail to meet demand.

Light rail is however, significantly more expensive than bus services, has no material speed benefits, is less flexible in traffic and if service reforms to the operation of CBD bus services are implemented, does not offer significantly greater capacity.

Material produced by the City of Sydney clearly indicates a vision for improved urban amenity, with a pedestrianised George Street. However, given George Street’s high pedestrian volumes (comparable with Pitt Street and Martin Place) and relatively narrow width, 
 this arrangement will require light rail to proceed at low speeds for safety reasons. Such an arrangement seems incompatible with a mass transit commuter task and unlikely to provide an adequate substitute for existing bus services.

Infrastructure NSW has reviewed NSW Bureau of Transport Statistics data which indicates that the existing combined peak hour demand on Anzac Parade and Broadway bus services is about 9,000. This implies there would be little or no spare capacity in the current light rail proposal for future demand growth. Light 
rail vehicles would be fully utilised, with two thirds of passengers standing.

Additionally, to provide a highly reliable mass transit service would require very high levels of intersection priority (with adverse implications for east-west traffic flows and pedestrian movement), and substantial infrastructure (e.g. pedestrians barriers and extended boarding platforms). This would be an extremely intensive transport operation in the George Street environment.

Whether physically segregated from pedestrians or not, a light rail service of the required capacity to act as an effective mass transit system would appear to leave George Street even less open to pedestrians than at present.

Sydney’s CBD is extremely congested. Solutions that work in low density CBDs such as Dublin or Amsterdam are unlikely to work here. Delivering light rail to Sydney’s CBD is not impossible, but as other cities have learned to their cost, an ill-considered light rail plan can lead to years of disruption and financial disaster, for example:

In 2008 the City of Edinburgh began construction of light rail, with a target completion date of early 2011. The latest completion date is now forecast for 2014, with project costs, at over $1 billion, at three times the original estimate9.

Jerusalem started construction of light rail in 2002. With repeated delays and a doubling of costs to US$1 billion, it took nine years before it became fully operative in December 2011.

Recommendation Given the critical economic importance of maintaining a functional CBD, Infrastructure NSW recommends that other solutions to bus congestion and capacity be implemented before any commitment is made to CBD light rail.

Why were the recommendations of Infrastructure NSW ignored by The Baird Government, Transport for NSW and The ALTRAC consortium. (Capella Capital {Lend Lease} Alstom, Acciona, and Transdev)

Goals of the Sydney Light Rail Action Group:

  • That the community of the Eastern Suburbs opposes the CBD and South East Light Rail and calls upon the State Government to immediately cease tree killing and construction.
  • That the reductions in the number of buses and bus routes that are planned in association with the light rail implementation be opposed.
  • That the detailed cost benefit analysis of the project be released publicly by the NSW State government.

Sign the petition to release the business case.

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  1. Thanks for following my blog. I’m looking forward to catching up with your very interesting-looking blog. I hadn’t heard all this was happening. It’s not good to get rid of buses. They are so convenient. You don’t have to go far to catch a bus and for old people in particular, I think they’re a must.


    1. Dear Coral,

      Thanks for your email. What is happening is so tragic. The NSW Baird Liberal government is killing heritage listed, priceless Anzac Memorial Trees on Anzac Parade for a light rail. ($2.1 billion, the most expensive tram in the world.) all up 871 significant and heritage trees are being kllled for this absurd project that is also cutting public transport capacity by 60% from our area into the city.


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