The Northern Busway has officially opened and has revealed both impressive and dissapointing aspects about the overall project. The busway consists of three new stations and cost $444 million.
The most impressive thing about the Busway are the actual Busway Stations, with Lutwyche in particular being the stand out station. Lutwyche station consists of four lift cores and stair wells making the station easily one of the most accessable in the network. It is located underground between two tunnel entrances.
Station signage and design follows the typical Translink livery and branding which still retains its modern glass feeling and style. Journey times will also be dramatically cut, with buses skipping up to 7 sets of traffic lights.
The most disappointing aspect of the project is the missing link between Turo Street Station and the RBWH station. From the RBWH station, buses are forced back onto Lutwyche Road to sit idle with traffic for about two kilometres until buses re-enter the busway at Turo Street Station.
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This could easily be solved by the introduction of bus lanes on Lutwyche road, however this was not part of the overall plan and the current LNP government has no intention of creating new bus lanes. Its suffice to say that this blunder is quite possibly the single most ridiculous shortfall of a project of this size and despite the massive benefits a bus lane would have to public transport for the northern suburbs, motorists would be up in arms about loosing a traffic lane to public transit.
Despite this, the project is well needed and will signify the start of enhanced public transport for the northern suburbs.