Daily Telegraph - Thursday 13 July, 2006

City of souls

By Lillian Saleh


CITY slickers are preferring to let their feet do the walking while in the CBD giving trains and buses a miss, a survey to be released today has found.

Seven out of 10 people surveyed by the Sydney Chamber of Commerce said they'd rather to get around the CBD on foot, while 14 per cent said they'd hop on a train and only 10 per cent said they'd catch a bus.

And in another push for extended light rail in the CBD, 62 per cent of those surveyed said they would use trams more often if there was a bigger network.

The Chamber of Commerce surveyed 320 people for their CityPoll,in which 95 per cent of respondents rated the road network as "poor or average", while 96 per cent rated felt the same way about the public transport network.

"The results confirm that Sydney has a fair bit of catching up to do in relation to transport," Chamber president Margy Osmond said.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said yesterday the survey results confirmed a need for an overall transport plan for Sydney.

"Sydney needs a planned, sustainable, integrated transport system, which provides for public transport as well as the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists," Ms Moore said.

"Our governments, State and Federal must focus on the problems now, and find future solutions.

"The system for collecting fares and allowing journeys across public transport modes is so primitive that it slows down our buses in particular, and makes public transport journeys frustrating and time consuming."

The CityPoll also found 69 per cent of respondents believed $3.50 was a "fair" price to pay for using the embattled Cross City Tunnel.

Ms Osmond said 21 per cent felt $3 was the best price, while just one per cent nominated $2.

"Like any new piece of major infrastructure, it often takes time for it to catch on and I think over time you will find that more and more people start realising the benefits of the tunnel and start to use it on trips across the city," Ms Osmond said.

She said the survey results "indicate people are willing to pay a fair price for tollways, but they also want good public transport".

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