Sydney CBD Transformed As George Street Closures Begin Photo:

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Trevor Collett | Oct, 04 2015 | 2 Comments

Sydney’s CBD is about to undergo a generational change, as new plans for the city’s numerous bus routes come into effect from today.

One of Australia’s busiest roads – the iconic George Street – will be progressively closed to traffic from this week.

The closures are to facilitate the construction of Sydney’s new light rail network; which for some means the beginning of a new way to travel and to others, a simple ‘righting of the wrongs’ from when the city tore up almost all of its tram lines over 50 years ago.

Either way, the changes will see Sydney’s CBD transformed but around three years of disruption for drivers and bus passengers will occur beforehand.

End of an era - long lines of buses filling two lanes on George Street
End of an era - long lines of buses filling two lanes on George Street

Bus passengers will be the first to feel the sting of construction, as buses accessing the city from Parramatta Road and other arterial routes will terminate a considerable distance from George Street.

This means longer commuting times for public transport users and likely a much longer travel distance required on foot.

“We have been pleading with bus customers for weeks to plan for this change, but despite handing out more than 300,000 flyers and brochures, there will be some customers who still need to get across the changes,” CBD Transport Coordinator General, Marg Prendergast, said.

“They need to plan their journey now to see how their commute will change, and look for street teams dressed in bright pink t-shirts, who’ll help them understand the changes.”

The pink t-shirt team has been established to assist customers as the bus system changes, but Ms Prendergast has urged passengers to be patient with the team and with bus drivers.

An artists impression of the new-look George Street
An artists impression of the new-look George Street

Those seeking one last drive down George Street are advised to act fast, as the road will be closed to most vehicles in stages beginning later this month.

Drivers are also advised to heed clearway signs, with new ‘tow away’ powers now in affect which will see offending vehicles quickly removed, rather than just fined.

To mark the end of an era, the NSW Government wheeled out 14 of its historic green and yellow double-decker buses for a parade down George Street.

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