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Clover Moore: Local businesses will benefit from Sydney light rail

On Dec 08 2011
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  • NSW


Users of commercial and retail space in the NSW capital may welcome changes that allow easier ...

Users of commercial and retail space in the NSW capital may welcome changes that allow easier access for pedestrians.

And demand for this space could potentially be influenced by a light rail project that, if given the green light, could help to reduce congestion in Australia's largest city.

The New South Wales state government aired the idea of creating the light rail link from Central to Circular Quay via George Street this week.

Lord mayor Clover Moore voiced strong support for such a move, which she says will ''drastically reduce traffic congestion, making it easier for bus passengers, cyclists and pedestrians to get around the city''.

According to Moore, this issue costs businesses and residents ''an estimated $3.5 billion'' a year, a figure that will ''more than double'' by 2020.

And she says there is evidence from other countries that making it easier to navigate through city streets is beneficial not only to pedestrians but businesses.

''Around 42 per cent of New Yorkers reported shopping in the neighbourhood more often since Times Square was pedestrianised,'' she said.

Moore said that if the light rail network project goes through, the city council will collaborate with local businesses and retailers to ensure they get the greatest benefit possible.

While light rail proposals are still under consideration, a number of other activities are underway in Australia's largest city that could encourage commercial property investment.

NSW premier Barry O'Farrell broke ground at the Barangaroo harbourfront development in October, which will eventually be home to an expanded financial district and plenty of mixed-use space.