| 13.07,12. 02:25 AM |
Lord Mayor Clover Moore's plan to clean up streets of Kings Cross
July 13, 2012
PRE-PAID taxis, new sprint trains, private buses, greater police presence and the power to veto new nightclubs - that's the action plan Lord Mayor Clover Moore believes can end the violence in Kings Cross.
Just days after Thomas Kelly, 18, was killed in an unprovoked and sickening attack, the City of Sydney Council has revealed it wants to adopt a New Year's Eve-style transport plan every weekend at the trouble-plagued hotspot.
Ms Moore believes the answer to Kings Cross's problem with violence lies in proper transport management during the early hours.
As well as pre-paid taxis and private buses, the council is calling for a "Late Night City Sprint" train that will take revellers straight out of the Cross to Town Hall where extra night ride buses will take them home. There would also be extra police at the station to keep commuters safe.
Ms Moore also wants councils to be given the power to reject new drinking holes based on the amount of clubs already there
The bold plan would mean a legislative change to the NSW liquor and planning acts to give councils power to say when an area has reached "saturation point" with pubs and clubs in the Cross.
"Much of the violence and anti-social behaviour in Kings Cross stems from having large numbers of people spilling out on to the streets at one time with no transport to get them home," Ms Moore said.
"Our proposal for a 'Late Night City Sprint service' trial would bring people from Kings Cross to Town Hall, where it would feed into an upgraded night ride bus service to deliver people home safely.
"It would be a one-way, five-minute trip that would get a huge number of people out of the Cross, where they are currently stranded."
Ms Moore said there were as many people on Darlinghurst Rd after midnight on Saturday as at Martin Place during peak hour, but nowhere near the level of transport services.
Australian Hotels Association NSW CEO Paul Nicolaou yesterday called for a transport overhaul in the Cross.
"After 1am the trains stop, there are no taxis," he said.
"There are no problems on New Year's Eve because there are so many police on the streets but on any Friday or Saturday night there are 20,000 to 30,000 people.
"There needs to be a lot more police and there needs to be a proactive response to council restricting streets for taxis and buses. There are so many people there and they can't leave because there are no cabs."
Ms Moore said the NSW government had to take action, "most importantly the cumulative impact of too many venues in one area".
"Planning laws mean the city can't refuse a development application for a new venue when an area has reached saturation point," she said.