Commuters
For Question 6, the most common response was that the train station needed to be expanded in terms of platform width and also with respect to the number of platforms and train connections. Some people also commented that Parramatta station should be a major interchange or have a second train station. Moreover, people at the bus depot said that train frequency and promptness needed to be increased and for this to be done so, more integrated bus lanes would have to be built.
For Question 7, the majority of people said that if the volume of commuters continued to increase then public transport delays would only continue to rise. Moreover, because cityrail’s networks are interconnected and thus interdependent, urban growth’s detrimental impact on society could be felt across the western and Cumberland train lines.
Residents
For Question 6, residents commonly responded by saying that the government should develop alternative routes in both the public and private transport areas to divert traffic away from local residential complexes. However, many failed to answer this question because they probably thought that the government could not do anything to help them as local residents, whatever they would do would inadvertently result in primarily affecting commuters and motorists and thus there other responses were similar to that of the above section.
For Question 7, most people said that without government intervention the traffic and transport condition would inevitably continue to disintegrate and cause further problems which may heighten the influence of such influences on their quality of lives.
Small Business Owners
For Question 4, local businesses owners felt that they should be subsidised for their losses, reduce the role played by the local Westfield or create extra transport services that would attract consumers to Parramatta without causing transport issues.
For Question 5, like all previous categories the common response was that the conditions would only continue to worsen however, compared to the other responders a lot of small business owners said that they would prefer the government not to do anything as increased population only benefited them.
Analysis of Results
Extent of Issue: Patterns and Trends – Aim 1
The general patterns and trends found in the extensive primary and secondary research conclusively supported the hypotheses as highlighted earlier in the report. In general it was found to be the case that congestion, as a result of the insufficient availability of transport infrastructure, was prevalent in both the public and private networks. 90% of motorists and 95% of public transport commuters from first-hand experience found the traffic and public transport conditions respectively to be either congested or heavily overcrowded. This is further backed up in the qualitative field study which suggests that there was a general pattern of congestion and over crowdedness specifically around major roads and on train platforms. Furthermore the primary and secondary photographs all visually communicate this trend since the traffic is not just prevalent in one area but is concentrated in surrounding areas which inevitably points to an expanding pattern of congestion. ABS data collected over 10 years has suggested that Parramatta’s population is growing at a mean rate of 10.4 per day and at this rate the extent of the issue will only increase in the future unless some action is taken. The long term extent of the issue was assessed in the final free response question of the surveys and overall there was a general trend, as mentioned in the processing of results section earlier in the report, towards interviewee’s inclining to the concept that conditions would only get worse without government intervention. 70% of commuters and motorists, according to survey questions 3 and 1 of the motorist’s and commuter’s surveys respectively, use the respective transport facilities nearly every day and this also affects the current situation and further reinforces the long term extent of the severity of the issue.
Causes of Issue – Aim 1
Parramatta Westfield: at more than 40,000 people visiting on an average day the car park offers less than a 10% conversion rate and from the primary data survey (which was conducted at Westfield) it was found that 40-50% arrived by car which highlights the lack of spaces available. Whilst the Westfield complex may seem like an arguably small part of the problem it plays an integral part in contributing to aggravating the situation.
Urban growth: Population growth and the general urbanisation of the Parramatta LGA has resulted in a greater demand for goods and services and because of the fact that no major developments have been made to either transport networks, i.e. the supply has remained constant, the current situation centred around congestion as shown in the various photographs with a high density of people has inevitably resulted. In terms of private transport, there as the number of people have grown the number of cars has grown as well and this further heightens the severity of the issue.
Urban Sprawl: the population movement primarily towards the greater western regions has increased the reliance on Parramatta as a commercial, residential and business centre
Overseas Migration: The major cause of the congested traffic and overcrowded public transport facilities is the lack of well planned transport infrastructure which has resulted as a result of inadequate state funding for the sector. However, if it was not for the increased demand for public and private transport facilities then such funding would not be necessary. Therefore, the underlying cause is the disequilibrium caused as a result of the of a greater influx of residents into the western suburbs and overseas typically Asian migration whose habitat epicentre tends to be in the Parramatta region.
Polycentric Model of Sydney: The demographic of Sydney as a structurally polycentric organisation means that population density is not concentrated in just one area but spread out around with one major centre and 2-3 smaller centres such as Parramatta. These smaller centres serve as the major region of consumer interest for surrounding suburbs. This has resulted on a lot of the pressures of Sydney CBD being shifted to Parramatta, which currently serves as the second largest city in terms of population. This can be seen in the population centre map in the secondary data table.