Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel said the University of Canberra's campus master plan was very well aligned with the ACT government's approach to planning.

Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel said the University of Canberra's campus master plan was very well aligned with the ACT government's approach to planning.

ACT government responds to UC light rail proposal

ACT government interested in Belconnen light rail route through University of Canberra, Transport Minister Chris Steel says

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Transport Minister Chris Steel says a light rail route to Belconnen via the University of Canberra will be considered in stage three.

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The ACT government will consider extending the light rail network to Belconnen via the University of Canberra as part of stage three of the rollout, Transport Minister Chris Steel says.

It follows the release of the university's 20-year master plan which included a light rail line through the centre of the campus.

Mr Steel praised the master plan, saying that it was very well aligned with the territory's approach to planning for the current and future needs of Canberra.

"The ACT government is keen to explore a route through the University of Canberra as part of future planning for Stage three of light rail, and UC's master plan of their campus will greatly help inform this work," Mr Steel said.

"The UC route option will be considered in choosing an alignment for stage three to Belconnen in consultation with the community in coming years."

However, Mr Steel reiterated that the government's immediate priority was extending the light rail network to Woden, which will be connected to the new Woden CIT campus.

He would not give a timeframe for stage three of the light rail build.

"UC's planning for their campus spans this decade and beyond, and the ACT government is similarly undertaking long-term planning for the future of the light rail network."

An artists impression of a light rail stop at the University of Canberra Bruce campus. Picture: Doug and Wolf

An artists impression of a light rail stop at the University of Canberra Bruce campus. Picture: Doug and Wolf

Belconnen Community Council chair Glen Hyde said the organisation had been advocating for a light rail line to Belconnen for many years as the bus network wasn't up to the task of transporting people to and from Canberra's most populous district.

"We've had a bus network in this town for 50-something years and we haven't been able to get that heavy uplift," he said.

Mr Hyde said the bus routes near the Bruce campus were some of the most overloaded in the network and it wasn't uncommon for people to be left standing on Haydon Drive because the bus was already full.

"Some people think light rail is a waste of taxpayer money, those people tend to be short-visioned," he said.

Read also: Better transport links are vital

Mr Hyde said the release of the university's plan was a good opportunity to revisit the Belconnen town centre master plan published in September 2016.

He was confident investment in the uncosted master plan would come.

"We're the jewel in Canberra's crown and we have largest population which means we need the greatest investment not just in funding but support," he said.

The story ACT government responds to UC light rail proposal first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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