Second Sydney airport has been confirmed by PM.
Rather than locating it in Badgerys Creek, I propose expanding Canberra’s international airport and introducing high-speed rail between the two capital cities.
Question: what is the ratio of tourists to Canberra…
I don’t see much point in upgrading Canberra’s airport. I think high speed rail is vital and can prove very beneficial especially for the east coast. I don’t recall Sydney’s airport well enough to properly judge it though I remember feeling it was a small so I can see how there would be a push for a second airport. It’s how both are utilised that is my main concern. I remember in Kuala Lumpur and indeed many other international destinations, two airports in the capital cities is very normal with one faring for overseas and the other for low cost terminals. Of course it is a very different situation I’m not fully rehearsed in. Loved to hear your response
The point of upgrading Canberra’s airport and introducing HSR is to avoid the negative externalities caused by traffic congestion, and highway expansion that would otherwise take place if the Badgerys Creek Airport (BCA) went ahead. I acknowledge that there are fantastic development opportunities for constructing an airport at Badgerys Creek. However, my primary argument is congestion management. A HSR corridor from Canberra to Sydney would reduce traffic, minimise environmental costs, and still fulfil Abbott’s dream of becoming the ‘infrastructure Prime Minister’. Initially, a HSR system would be costly to run. However, as Canberra airport is without curfew, upgrading the site to accommodate more air traffic would see hundreds of thousands of passengers using the HSR, and therefore a price decrease. Travelling by HSR rather than air is more desirable as there is no tedious screening, or needing to be at the station thirty minutes early. Trains also allow the use of electronic devices and many have wifi which would be beneficial to politicians/business people.
Plans of a second airport have been discussed by governments for well over forty years, and Badgerys Creek has been on the table for a majority of that time. I assume that by ‘low-cost’ you mean domestic? If that is the case, it is not in the Government’s interest to construct Badgerys Creek as a domestic terminal. It is intended to be an airport without curfew (unlike Kingsford Smith) and to attract large airline companies. This isn’t going down well with locals who are concerned with the noise, and pollution to the Blue Mountains/Sydney water supply.
To be honest, the more I read, the more torn I have become between the two locations. On one hand, I would rather see Australia invest in public transport, and decrease our dependence on private cars (especially as our residential areas are becoming more and more urbanised). On the other hand, Western Sydney needs to undergo massive redevelopment to attract economic and social opportunities. It’s as if the Government is almost holding the development of Western Sydney at ransom over the construction of an airport. The area’s population is growing; it needs to be developed regardless.
Below, I think many would find that what I’m saying indicates that BCA needs to go ahead. With the state of their transport system, an airport (in theory) should improve services (I even convinced myself until I realised that roads will receive the most attention). I argue that Can-Syd HSR will significantly avoid negative externalities, and be faster (and more convenient) to reach Sydney than travelling from Badgerys Creek.
Consider Western Sydney’s current infrastructure. The following are screenshots from Google Maps (updated 2014) that show the fastest public transport connections from Badgerys Creek to Sydney CBD.
The orange artery is a train line, and the blue are buses (interchanges: Parramatta Station, Liverpool Interchange, and Cabramatta Station). According to Google, these services run 2-3 times a day on each route, and take approximately 2 hours and 27 minutes one way.
These times were sourced from NSW Transport site. The travel time also factors in people carrying luggage, and those with disabilities/mobility issues.
Leave after: 00:00 Thursday 17th April
Leave after: 00:00 Thursday 17th April
FYI: The * in Option 5 and Option 6 indicate that the service leaves on the following Tuesday
This new airport is intended to operate 24/7, and at the moment, bus lines function from Badgerys Creek to Parramatta Station on Tuesdays to Thursdays only. Three days a week. The Government is apprehensive to increase public transport frequency on popular lines in the eastern suburbs and here we are with 3/7 days unaccounted for. Even if passengers landed in Penrith (trains departing every day, every thirty minutes), it would still take anywhere between 1 hour and 1 hour 40 minutes to reach Sydney.
HSR from Canberra to Sydney would take 50 minutes
The Government is focused on developing roads to accommodate increased traffic from western to eastern suburbs. I’m biased when it comes to roads. They a necessary piece of infrastructure however we should be thinking of transporting the greatest number of people as effectively as possible. Individual cars, and wider highways don’t cut it.
Google is somewhat unreliable when it comes to determining travel time and the best routes for cars to travel on. However, the three most efficient roads according to Google from Badgerys Creek to Sydney are all toll roads that take 49-52 minutes in travel time. Avoiding tolls increases travel time from 52-58 minutes. Avoiding tolls and highways increase travel time to 1 hour - 1 hour 7 minutes.
The point is you can choose from:
- Arriving in Kingsford Smith Airport, jumping on the frequent double-decker train, and arriving in the heart of the city in less than no time.
- Arriving in BCA, jumping on a bus and train that (under current capacity) will take nearly 2.5 hours to reach Sydney OR taking a taxi and spending $$$ on 60km worth of travel OR hiring a car and not needing it when you arrive in Sydney (estimated $149/day [picking up in Parramatta and dropping off in Sydney] as quoted by Thrifty).
- Arriving in Canberra, jumping on the HSR, and arriving in Sydney CBD within 50 minutes
Perhaps I am too pessimistic - the project is still in its infancy. I know Abbott will deliver on roads but it’s public transport that is most needed. If funding went into improving public transport (and I mean, the system replacing the need for most cars), I would be inclined to support the project. However, I cannot be won over by a plan that encourages increased car ownership over advanced public transport infrastructure.