North Sydney Council has been protesting the Beaches Tunnel for some time, and this week Willoughby City Council and Mayor Tanya Taylor also called on the NSW Government to investigate public transport alternatives in the wake of grave environmental, health and viability concerns.
With many members of the community and neighbouring North Sydney Council having fought to stop the Beaches Link Project for some time, it’s amazing news that Willoughby City Council has now also called on the NSW Government to investigate public transport alternatives to the Beaches Tunnel too.
Willoughby City Mayor Tanya Taylor said the Beaches Link project should not proceed in its current form, due to its significant environmental, human health, noise, vibration and traffic congestion impacts.
Mayor Taylor said concerns about the existing project included:
- Adverse environmental and health impacts both during construction and operationally including from disturbance of contamination at Bicentennial Reserve, Flat Rock Gully and Middle Harbour
- The loss of large areas of bushland
- Impacts on residential amenity during construction due to noise, congestion, vibration
- The movement of heavy vehicles and reduced access to Middle Harbour; and
- The project’s reliance on outdated traffic modelling which fails to take into account a range of issues, including COVID-19 and the operation of the B-line and Metro City and Southwest, along with the planned rapid bus service from Dee Why to Chatswood.
Given this, Mayor Taylor said the government should cease work on the current proposed project.
Mayor Taylor said Council had resolved that it would prefer an investigation into public transport alternatives, including an underground link between the Frenchs Forest growth centre and the Chatswood interchange.
“The fact that the NSW Government has effectively pressed pause on this proposal, by allocating only a small amount for planning in its 2022/23 budget, makes it the perfect time to examine a public transport alternative,” she said.
“The Council has just completed community engagement on its short and long-term planning documents, where there was overwhelming support for increased public transport services and the concept of a sustainable, liveable and connected city.
“Given this, Willoughby City is concerned about the current Beaches Link project which will entrench car dependence and cause a range of related environmental and amenity impacts on our local community during the construction and operational phase.
“A much better option would be to create a new public transport route out of the Northern Beaches, which would link to the existing Chatswood interchange.
“Journey to work data suggests that such an alternative would help Northern Beaches residents get to work, while at the same time strengthen Chatswood’s city centre.”
Is The Tide of Opinion on the Beaches Link Tunnel Turning in Other Council Areas?
If you’re interested in reading the opinions of community members of the neighbouring Council areas that have historically been pro-Beaches Tunnel please click below and join for the latest from the Northern Beaches Living Group, and the Mosman Living Group. It’s a fascinating read! Just search ‘Beaches Tunnel Link’ in the search bar of each Group.
Northern Beaches: (please click here)
Mosman Living: (please click here)
Those who agree public transport alternatives should be sought and would like to rally for the Beaches Link Project to cease can join the Facebook Group Stop The Tunnels here: https://www.facebook.com/stoptunnels/
Main image: The recent destruction at Cammeray for the Western Harbour Tunnel – the predecessor to the Beaches Link Tunnel as shared by Jane Playford in the Willoughby Living Facebook group