Locals call for increased ferry services amidst Rozelle Interchange chaos
by GRACE JOHNSON
The “nightmarish” road congestion in Sydney’s inner west caused by the opening of the Rozelle Interchange has triggered calls for increased ferry services, one of Labor’s election promises.
Labor had vowed last March to create two new ferry stops at Rozelle Bay in Annandale and at Pirrama Park wharf in Pyrmont, and reopen a former one in west Balmain, but no timeline for implementing these promises has been specified.
Heavy traffic congestion has significantly disrupted residents’ commutes, and ferry services, though rapid, are less frequent than increasingly unreliable bus services.
The summer holidays has been a welcome period of respite from traffic jams for residents in Balmain, Rozelle and surrounding inner west suburbs.
However, traffic on Victoria Road and other inner west thoroughfares is set to return as people head back.
Graeme Taylor from Action for Public Transport said to City Hub, “With people returning from holidays, the congestion on Victoria Road will return. I think the time for the government to act is now.”
Member for Balmain Kobi Shetty echoed this urgency, saying “the government needs to act quickly to fix this mess before schools resume in February.”
“The bungled opening of the Rozelle Interchange caused traffic chaos for our community late last year. After dealing with years of disruption from WestConnex, this is completely unacceptable,” she stated.
“Our community deserves better.”
Peter Hehir, a local resident who lives right next to the interchange and former convenor of Rozelle Against WestConnex told City Hub, “I totally support increasing the ferry services.”
“All peninsular residents would readily endorse any such plans.”
Mr Taylor added that the government needs to invest in buying new ferries to support extra services to the inner west, as current services are “quite stretched”. This would significantly relieve congestion on local roads, as a ferry trip to the city would take only a few minutes.
“Reducing our reliance on cars is a sustainable way to reduce local traffic congestion,” affirmed Ms Shetty.