Lobby group to change SA transport policy

A state group wants to revamp SA’s current transport policy

Lobby group to change SA transport policy
A new SA group wants to change the state's PT policy

A new transport policy group consisting of researchers and community members are campaigning to update South Australia’s transport plan and upgrade public transport infrastructure.

The Transport Action Network is asking the SA government to improve the quality of public transport while updating the regional rail and improving transport infrastructure in the state.

The network says it has been formed to help the government to produce an integrated transport and land use plan in line with the community’s wishes.

In a landmark move, the group wants the federal government to fund transport projects based on this proposed plan along with independent assessments of each project, as the network says there has been no discussion about SA’s transport future.

This suggestion would move funds away from mega-road projects and towards a wider range of transport programs that consider social, environmental and health impacts.

Transport Action Network spokesperson Jennifer Bonham told InDaily the group emerged out of concern for the current SA congestion projects that have been funded by the state.

"There’s not enough space to keep shoving cars onto those arterial roads," she says.

"A huge investment on road projects would send a clear message that we’re prepared to invest in this form of transport but nothing else."

The Transport Action Network is proposing that the SA government stops funding road capacity works and instead focus on public transport and infrastructure projects.

Planning experts, local transport action groups and People for Public Transport are all members of the Transport Action Network.

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The group has written a paper titled Creating Transport Choices: A Call to Action that says that transport and land use decisions made in SA for the past 70 years have prioritised private motor vehicle travel and road freight transport instead of considering the community.

"This has left South Australians with little choice but to use a car to access everyday destinations and share their frequently congested roads with heavy freight vehicles," the network says.

"This approach is exacting a high price not only for personal and state budgets but also in terms of individual and environmental health social wellbeing and the liveability of our town and cities.

"It’s time to go beyond the election cycle and bring the community into a conversation about a long-term sustainable transport future."

Measures the network wants to see taken includes improved data collection and genuine transport choices for South Australians, specifically regarding higher quality public transport and sustainable options.

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