Media Releases

MEDIA RELEASE: Zali Steggall says transport solutions for Warringah must be prioritised

29 September, 2023

 Zali Steggall MP believes Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore residents calls for better transport services and infrastructure have been ignored by both the Liberal and now Labor State Governments for too long and wants to ensure the area is not overlooked in future planning.

Steggall said: “The cancelling of the Beaches Link Tunnel, the privatising of bus services which has seen a staggering 28,526 failed services this year alone, and a botched roll out of new Manly ferries which were not fit for purpose, outlines an appalling track record of transport solutions in the Warringah area.

“Northern Beaches and lower north shore residents and have put up with poor transport for too long. There are serious issues with the aging infrastructure, and the outsourcing of services that has failed to keep step with the population and needs in this area.”

“We must focus on modern transport solutions”.

The NSW Government has announced its decision to formally cancel the Beaches Link project. This is disappointing but not surprising after the Perrottet Government put the project on hold prior to the last State election, without objection from local State members. This now leaves Warringah and its constituents once again overlooked for key transport infrastructure. The people of the Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore are growing increasingly frustrated with an inferior public transport system and outdated infrastructure that fails to meet the area's needs. While the proposed Beaches Link Tunnel faced challenges and required further assessment, in particular as to its costs and environmental impacts, it offered vital long term infrastructure solutions for residents in this region.

The long-standing issues with the Spit Bridge date back to its origins, marked by a persistent lack of funding. The NSW government's reluctance to allocate general revenue to essential transport infrastructure compelled Manly Council to take on the burden of construction. Promises to widen the bridge and address the notorious bottleneck, one of the worst on the Northern Beaches, have been made by various governments since the early 2000s. While the Spit Bridge holds historical significance, it falls short as a modern transport infrastructure.

The frequent raising of the bridge—six to eight times daily—only exacerbates congestion, particularly when three lanes are merged into one during certain times of the day. While improving public transport may alleviate some of this congestion, significant issues will persist with public transport from the City right through to Palm Beach. High ferry fares, discontinued services to Barangaroo, and unreliable and inconsistent bus services are among the pressing concerns that demand immediate attention. It has recently been reported that a staggering 28,526 scheduled Northern Suburb bus trips failed to turn up this year alone. This is simply unacceptable.

It is imperative that these issues are addressed promptly and comprehensively to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Warringah.

“To tackle these challenges head-on, I am meeting with key stakeholders to gain insights into potential solutions as well as hosting a community forum in the new year to ensure residents voices are heard as we work towards a more efficient and accessible transport system.

“I have also invited the NSW Minister for Transport not only to meet with me to discuss this issue, but to accompany me on a drive over the Spit Bridge during one of its six daily openings or during peak hour.”