North-West T-way

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North-West T-way
Tway logo.png
Overview
OperatorBusways
Hillsbus
Began serviceMarch 10, 2007 (2007-03-10)
Route
StartBlacktown Station
Rouse Hill Station
ViaNorwest Business Park
Westmead Hospital
EndParramatta Station
Length24 km

The North-West T-way is a continuous series of bus-only lanes and bus roadways between Parramatta, Blacktown and Rouse Hill in Western Sydney. Opened in stages between March and November 2007, the 24 km (14.9 mi) T-way was the second bus rapid transit route to be built in Sydney after the Liverpool–Parramatta T-way.

Alignment[edit]

The T-way follows Old Windsor Road north from Westmead Hospital. At Memorial Avenue, Kellyville, the route branches, with one branch continuing north along Old Windsor and Windsor roads to Rouse Hill Town Centre and the other heading west along Sunnyholt Road to Blacktown.

The alignment includes 10 new bridges and two new underpasses. Three of the T-way's 24 route-kilometres are bus lanes on existing roads.[1]

The Bella Vista–Rouse Hill section of the T-way runs parallel with the Sydney Metro Northwest rail line.

Interactive map of the North-West T-way. Only the sections that are separate from public roads are marked, but the map includes all stops along the T-way.

Construction[edit]

The NSW Government announced the T-way network as part of its Action for Transport plan in 1998. The North-West project was approved in February 2004 and was jointly overseen by the then Ministry of Transport and Roads and Traffic Authority. The $323 million design–build–maintain contract was awarded to Leighton and construction began in mid 2005.[2][3] Construction took place alongside a major upgrade and widening program on Windsor and Old Windsor roads, known as 'All the way to Windsor'.[4]

The design was said to avoid many of the mistakes that had made the earlier Liverpool–Parramatta T-way so expensive to build.[5]

The T-way opened in three stages:[6]

  • Parramatta to Merriville Road, Rouse Hill – 10 March 2007
  • Merriville Road to Rouse Hill Town Centre – 25 September 2007
  • Blacktown branch – 4 November 2007.

A fourth section, continuing from the Blacktown branch and between Burns Interchange to Castle Hill, was never constructed.

Stations[edit]

Norbik T-way station

The North-West T-way has 30 stations, spaced approximately every 800 metres. Stations feature closed circuit television, real-time information screens, emergency help points, audio announcements and extensive landscaping.[7]

One station, Parramatta Station, also forms part of the Liverpool–Parramatta T-way. The other stations are, from Parramatta:

From Burns, the Blacktown branch proceeds to:

  • Stanhope, near Stanhope Parkway, Glenwood
  • Sorrento, near Sorrento Drive, Glenwood
  • Wilson, near Wilson Road, Glenwood
  • James Cook, near James Cook Drive, Kings Langley
  • Vardys, near Vardys Road, Blacktown
  • Turner, near Turner Street, Blacktown
  • Bessemer, near Bessemer Street, Blacktown
  • Sackville, near Sackville Street, Blacktown
  • Devitt, near Devitt Street, Blacktown
  • Blacktown, at Blacktown Station.

From Burns, the Rouse Hill branch proceeds to:

Services[edit]

Busways and Hillsbus operate North-West T-way services. There are many services which traverse the T-Way, either in its entirety or a section of it. The route numbering follows the Sydney Metropolitan Bus Route Numbering System with T-way specific routes prefixed with T. (Hillsbus T6x and Busways T7x)

The following T services use the Parramatta - Rouse Hill T-Way

T65 Hillsbus
  • T60 Parramatta - Castle Hill via Crestwood
  • T61 Parramatta - Blacktown via Kings Langley
  • T62 Parramatta - Castle Hill via Bella Vista and Tuckwell Road
  • T63 Parramatta - Rouse Hill Town Centre via Glenwood and Stanhope Gardens
  • T64 Parramatta - Rouse Hill Town Centre via Norwest Business Park and Kellyville
  • T65 Parramatta - Rouse Hill Town Centre
  • T66 Parramatta - Rouse Hill via Rouse Hill Town Centre
  • T71 Blacktown - Castle Hill via Stanhope Gardens, Rouse Hill Town Centre and Kellyville
  • T75 Blacktown - Riverstone via Rouse Hill

The following T services use the Blacktown - Parklea T-Way

  • T61 Blacktown - Parramatta via Kings Langley
  • T70 Blacktown - Castle Hill via Glenwood and Norwest Business Park
  • T71 Blacktown - Castle Hill via Stanhope Gardens, Rouse Hill Town Centre and Kellyville
  • T72 Blacktown - Quakers Hill via Pye Road
  • T74 Blacktown - Riverstone via Stanhope Gardens and The Ponds
  • T75 Blacktown - Riverstone via Rouse Hill

Hillsbus and Busways also operate other routes along the T-way.

Criticisms[edit]

The T-way and its operations has come under criticism in several areas. Even before its opening, the Roads and Traffic Authority was criticised for its lack of planning and broken promises on the T-way's construction. Parramatta Council complained during construction that noise walls had not been built next to the homes of residents who lived along the T-way route, causing them distress. The planned cycleway alongside the T-way was not built in its entire length, and included a large deviation which Council complained would erode the cycleway's effectiveness.[8] After the opening of the first stage of the T-way, a local cycle advocacy group identified a large gap in the cycleway, potentially compromising cyclists' safety.[9] Some local residents had their backyards destroyed.[10]

On the opening of the initial route several other problems were raised. Comments were made concerning the initial patronage of the T-way. While the New South Wales State Government refused to say how many people used the T-way in its first week, a local newspaper discovered that the commuter carpark attracted as few as ten cars a day in the first week of operation.[11] Another local newspaper reported a traffic barrier separating vehicles from the busway at Westmead railway station was causing accidents.[12]

On 12 April 2007, the Roads and Traffic Authority quietly scrapped the bus priority system that would have given buses priority at all at-grade intersections. The decision was criticised as eliminating the main advantage of the T-way and not entice commuters back to public transport.[13] Bus operators expected better patronage once the toll on the Lane Cove Tunnel came into effect.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leighton Holdings A$323 million contract
  2. ^ T-way, Leighton
  3. ^ North West Bus Transitway, Leighton
  4. ^ Ozroads. "Old Windsor and Windsor roads".
  5. ^ Baker, Jordan (25 August 2006). "Transport's vision splendid running at only half capacity". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  6. ^ ComfortDelGro Cabcharge, Hillsbus Service Update: Routes T63, T64, T65 and 610", 25 September 2007. Accessed 26 September 2007.
  7. ^ Jordan Baker (2006-08-25). "Transport's vision splendid running at only half capacity". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
  8. ^ City of Parramatta, "News: RTA urged to reconsider noise walls and cycleway route", 11 November 2005. Accessed 16 April 2007.
  9. ^ "CAMWEST: North-West T-Way: From Abbott Road to Wentworthville", 20 March 2007. Accessed 16 April 2007.
  10. ^ Soon, Nick, "T-Way Nightmare", Blacktown City Sun, 14 March 2007. Accessed 16 April 2007.
  11. ^ Campise, Kirsten, "Commuters Ignoring T-Way", The Northern News, 28 March 2007. Accessed 16 April 2007.
  12. ^ Stevens, Kylie, "Barrier a 'hazard'", Parramatta Sun, 28 March 2007. Accessed 16 April 2007.
  13. ^ Besser, Linton, "Priority bus green lights scrapped", Sydney Morning Herald, 12 April 2007. Accessed 16 April 2007.
  14. ^ Baker, Jordan, "New tunnel sums: 17 minutes less, $25 more in toll", Sydney Morning Herald, 23 March 2007. Accessed 16 April 2007.

External links[edit]