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State Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has welcomed last week’s announcement of a pre-feasibility study to bring modern trams back to Anzac Parade in Sydney’s east.

The pre-feasibility study is intended to give the NSW Government a head start in improving Sydney’s transport and outline options to expand its light rail network.

“I welcome Randwick Council, the University of NSW and the Australian Turf Club’s study, and their ongoing interest in light rail,” said Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

Jointly-funded by Randwick City Council, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the Australian Turf Club at Randwick Racecourse, the study will look at a potential light rail route along Anzac Parade from Central station.

The pre-feasibility study is not presently receiving funding from the State Government but findings will lead into the O’Farrell government’s upcoming feasibility studies in expanding light rail throughout Sydney.

“I wanted to sit down with the key stakeholders in Sydney’s east to outline the collaborative approach we will be taking,” said Ms Berejiklian.

“I look forward to seeing what information they can provide to inform the Government’s own feasibility study.”

The proposed route follows Anzac Parade all the way to UNSW. There is also a suggested loop which would then turn into High Street before running through Randwick’s town centre on Belmore Road before returning to Anzac Parade along Alison Road via Randwick Racecourse and Randwick TAFE.

UNSW, who contributed $100,000 to the study, said staff and students would benefit from a light rail link to and from the city.

“We’re the only university in Sydney that’s not serviced by a railway …so the decision of mass transit transport out here to the university is really quite critical,” said a UNSW spokesperson.

The spokesperson said UNSW is almost entirely reliant on buses for the thousands of students who commute from Central, with one bus going through Surry Hills almost every minute in peak hour.

While the pre-feasibility study is yet to address the exact details of any new light rail infrastructure, the proposed route would likely use Anzac Parades wide median strip that is a remnant of an old tramway
corridor. Anzac Parade once carried trams as far south as La Perouse.

By Simon Anderson