Community has say at Newcastle CBD light rail information sessions

NEWCASTLE and Maitland residents were invited to attend community information sessions on light rail options for Newcastle CBD earlier this week.

The sessions were held in the two towns on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday.

The state government wants to truncate the heavy rail line at Wickham to open up Hunter Street and link pedestrian traffic to the harbour's edge.

A transport interchange, which will include a light rail option to Newcastle Beach, will be built on the western side of Stewart Avenue at Wickham.

A third light rail option was put on the table recently after the government revealed it would cost double to build light rail down Hunter Street, compared to the existing rail corridor.

The third option would mostly run down Hunter Street but would divert away from the mall as it approaches the beach.

The government refuses to release the exact costings for each of the three routes, stating they would not be made public until after the consultation period has closed.

The government says the proposed changes across the city, including the construction of the light rail system and three high-rise residential apartment blocks, will create 6000 new homes and 10,000 jobs.

Community consultation on the light rail plans closes on Monday, March 31.

■ Go to www.revitalisingnewcastle.com.au or phone 1800 359 545 for more information.

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