The NSW government has a grand vision for how the state’s road and rail network will look in 40 years.
Under the plan, Albury would be part of a working inland rail system, including upgraded bridges to accommodate double-stacked freight trains, and improved major roads and bridges.
There would also be bus fares integrated with Wodonga’s system, better bus and coach services between cities and more plane flights in and out of the region.
The draft Future Transport 2056 strategy was released this week, outlining improvements to regional transport.
It anticipates the inland rail project will be complete within 10 years and has planned a duplication of the rail line from Junee to Albury within 20 years.
Roads, Maritime and Freight Minister Melinda Pavey said freight was a vital part of the plan, with predictions it would increase 25 per cent regionally by 2056.
“That’s a big number and an even bigger task to manage these increases safely, especially with the regional population expected to top 3.6 million over the same period,” she said. “Some of this will be managed through technology-driven improvements, but a lot of it will be through offering customers safe and reliable choices.”
Changes to train and plane timetables were intended to allow people to travel out of the region and return the same day.
The strategy proposed to “introduce seamless next generation ticketing system across regional NSW in-line with metropolitan Sydney” and the “alignment of fares in Regional NSW with those in metropolitan Sydney”.
“This will increase equity between regions, improve social inclusion, and affordability which will encourage greater patronage,” it stated.
The only specific project related to Albury’s roads was the continuation of the Riverina Highway upgrade, which was now due to be completed by the end of 2017.
The latest work on the project this week was the installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Drome Street and Riverina Highway.
The draft Future Transport 2056 strategy is open for public comment until December 3 at www.future.transport.nsw.gov.au.