NSW govt reveals future transport strategy

·2-min read

Cars will be NSW's last priority when designing new transport systems but that doesn't mean a congestion tax is on the way.

The state's latest future transport strategy - overriding the last decades-long blueprint written in 2020 - was unveiled on Monday by a premier keen to show his government at the cutting edge of transport changes.

Train stations will become destinations, most people will be 30 minutes from their nearest city and robotic dogs will inspect pipes and other areas too dangerous for humans.

"It's about building services around people, not the old way when government built services around themselves," Premier Dominic Perrottet told reporters on Monday.

The 50-year blueprint outlines a desire to "stabilise" Greater Sydney's traffic levels, free road space for essential uses such as freight and service at the expense of single-occupant private vehicles.

Walking, wheelchairs, e-bikes and e-scooters may be considered first in the allocation of road user space, potentially increasing the width of footpaths and number of 24-hour bus lanes.

An opportunity to "reduce congestion and improve travel choices" through long-term reform of "user contributions across the road and public transport networks" is also mentioned.

A congestion tax was introduced in London in 2003, with drivers paying about $25 over a 20-square-kilometre radius of the city.

An Australian report by 18 industry and academic experts released in May recommended a congestion tax and fuel efficiency standards to address transport's increasing share of the country's emissions.

But Mr Perrottet said his government had no plans for a congestion tax.

"We've set out very clearly in our electric vehicle strategy. As we move into a future of electric vehicles, then naturally you'll move into a (road user charge) system," he said.

"That's the future. You pay a tax today - stamp duty and fuel excise."

Cities Minister Rob Stokes said 40 per cent of trips were to run errands but people mostly had no option but to use private vehicles.

"About two million trips each day in Sydney alone by motor vehicle are less than two kilometres," he said.

"If we can make it safer and more efficient for people to use public transport or even walk or cycle, we're saving people money, we're making our transport more efficient and we're making our roads run better."

The strategy brings forward to 2050 a commitment for zero road trauma while the transport department wants net zero emissions by 2035.

The department makes up 0.72 of all transport emissions in NSW - a smudge against the 21.6 per cent contribution from cars, light commercial vehicles and trucks.

Transport Minister David Elliott was absent from the announcement on Monday. Mr Perrottet, who did not know where Mr Elliott was, denied a rift between the pair.