TRANSPORT is to become one of Tamworth Regional Council’s priorities, according to mayor Col Murray.
Cr Murray said among the many topics to come up regularly over the next few years, both in and out of the council chambers, would be transport in various forms.
“In the past we have dabbled with the issue of public transport, but there’s no doubt it’s something we will need to focus more on in the coming years,” he said.
With an aging population and on the back of successes with the rollout of buses during the 2013 Country Music Festival, Cr Murray said there was a definite and obvious opportunity to explore what could be done throughout the year to improve services in Tamworth; to Tamworth from smaller towns and villages around the region and between Tamworth and major cities like Newcastle.
“In the past we have lobbied for improvements to the rail network. And I think rail is something that could be ramped up in our region,” Cr Murray said.
“It’s a logical step, better trains to Newcastle so people can access flights to other major cities for access to health facilities and appointments and things like that.”
Cr Murray said with the considerable amount of funding being spent on public transport in metropolitan areas it would be silly not to consider improving services here.
“In terms of bus transport the links we have work amazingly well during the festival,” he said.
“We would be silly, because we have an aging population and car ownership is becoming more expensive, not to consider how to roll out better bus services throughout the year.”
He said while it wasn’t the top of the pile in terms of priority, better connections to Nundle, Barraba and Kootingal were in the back of his mind.
“I imagine we will look at a number of strategies to work out how things like that could be put in place over the next two or three years,” he said. On a larger scale talks about the possibility of establishing an intermodal transport facility in the city will also continue.”