New ferry services 'urgently needed', says Chamber
New ferry services between the Peninsula and the Northern Beaches and Sydney Harbour are urgently needed as "alternative transport routes", according to the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has
Speaking after the closure of the M1 due to a truck pile-up in January, Chamber president Mr Matthew Wales asked: "How many times do Central Coast residents have to endure major disruptions on the M1 and be left to the mercy of limited transport connections between Sydney and the Central Coast?"
"It's high time that all levels of Government explore alternative transport routes," he said.
"If it's not bush fires closing the freeway, it's major accidents which often involve semi-trailers.
"These major incidents place pressure on our only other transport connection, the main northern rail line.
"For nearly 20 years we have had an alternative transport connection waiting to be built in the form of the approved ferry wharf at Ettalong Beach and yet it has sat on the drawing board lifeless," Mr Wales said.
"For a modest $5 million, the NSW State Government and the new Central Coast Council could build this new wharf which would encourage ferry operators to look at public transport connections to the Northern Beaches and Sydney Harbour.
"Such infrastructure might encourage commercial operators to expand existing businesses like the Palm Beach Ferry service or new start operators," Mr Wales said.
"The Bangalow St Wharf is approved with active consent, fully costed and is included in the Ettalong Beach Foreshore Masterplan.
"It's no longer acceptable to patch up the old Ferry Rd Wharf and claim that this is a satisfactory connection to Palm Beach," said Mr Wales.
"When you get off at Palm Beach, you are welcomed by a state-of-the-art ferry wharf and interchange that makes Ettalong Beach look like the poor cousin.
"The Chamber is calling on the NSW State Government and the Central Coast Council to get serious about transport connections that use one of our best assets, our waterways," Mr Wales concluded.
Media release, 1 Feb 2017
Matthew Wales, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce