TIME TO INVESTIGATE RESTORING PASSENGER TRAIN SERVICES
The Newcastle Herald published three articles recently (one of which was reprinted in last week's Advertiser), about the re-use of rail lines that are a legacy of closed coal mines.
The South Maitland rail corridor for example, was still in use a year ago carrying coal.
It's still intact, inspected weekly, and runs through a significant residential growth corridor.
It's time to investigate the restoration of passenger train services to the growing Coalfields population.
Train travel would make a huge difference to the lives of young people in the Cessnock LGA, by addressing poor public transport to the University of Newcastle, and by providing students with access to cheaper accommodation in the Cessnock LGA for example.
We should also include active transport in our plans, with cycleways and walkways to meet the future needs of residents.
Rail easements are possibly wide enough to include rail and combined cycle/walkways. We don't have to settle for one or the other, we can make plans to include both.
It's clear though, that acquisition of the un-used rail network by the NSW State Government is key to making this happen.
We don't want to lose this opportunity by repeating the mistakes made in Newcastle by allowing development on various rail corridors.
Llynda Nairn, Greens candidate for Cessnock City Council
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