BY CHRISTOPHER HARRIS
Plans to build another pedestrian bridge just a few hundred metres from the controversial Tibby Cotter Bridge near Moore Park have been slammed by transport lobbyists Ecotransit.
The bridge is part of the construction of the South East Light Rail which will run along Moore Park.
Ecotransit spokesperson Gavin Gatenby said there were other solutions which would have been cheaper.
“The idea you need a pedestrian bridge every place you have a light rail stop is dubious,” Mr Gatenby said.
“However, it would have made a great deal more sense to have put a pedestrian underpass next to the underpass that they’re already putting in for the light rail,” he said.
Mr Gatenby said said there were “shorter, cheaper, and more convenient” solutions the state government could have chosen.
“What would have made much more sense, and it would have been cheaper, would be to have widened the planned light rail underpass by about 5 metres providing a tunnel for pedestrians and cyclists as well,” he said.
Mr Gatenby believes that more attention needs to be focused on the developments around transport infrastructure, and how decisions are made.
“The Tibby Cotter bridge was part of this obscene land grab by the Sydney Cricket Ground trust for a bit of slab of Moore Park for a tennis stadium. It was a Trojan horse for that,” he claimed.
“At a cost of $38 million, it’s a standout example of corruption of process. A standard pedestrian bridge across six lanes of traffic usually costs about $5 million. A recent one at Heathcote with two lifts and stairs was $5.5 million.
Another recent example was in The Blue Mountains, which was only about $3 million,” he said.
“This is just crazy, this isn’t proper rational planning, this is a mad free-for-all by the big developers and the big engineering companies and the Sydney Cricket ground.”
A spokesperson for Transport NSW told City Hub in a statement that another pedestrian bridge was being drafted.
“A detailed design for a pedestrian bridge near Sydney Boys’ and Sydney Girls’ schools in Moore Park is currently being drafted. This design is being done in consultation with both schools, the Department of Education and the
Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust,” the spokesperson said.
“While the bridge will be open to the general public, the main purpose will be safe access for school students using the upcoming Sydney Light Rail stop at Moore Park.”
“No other pedestrian footbridges in the area are being proposed for the Sydney Light Rail project.”
Last week, draft plans for a new 60,000 seat stadium, underground car park and tennis stadium in Moore Park leaked to the Wentworth Courier had Clover Moore outraged, describing it as a “land grab” and threatening to green space.
Greens MP Mehreen Faruqui suggested that now these plans were exposed, the Tibby Cotter Bridge finally made sense.
“The Roads Minister urgently needs to come clean with people about the bridge,” Dr Faruqi said.
“Did the public pay $38 million for a walkway between the SCG and an underground carpark – not for pedestrians and cyclists, but for motorists?”