Transport interchange is a designated designed area/place that facilitates the exchange of cargo and passengers between available means of transport the likes of vehicles, train, ships, aero plane among others. The interchange is mostly referred to as transport hub that includes bus stops, airports, ferries, and harbor and railway stations.
Interchange creates opportunities for growth and development especially in transport sector that greatly contribute to positive growth in the economy. Most developed countries the likes of United Kingdom, United State Of America, Australia, Japan, China among others have witnessed the benefits associated with interchange terminal especially in urban set ups.
Transport interchange in urban centers shapes peoples way of life through quick access to use of their land for economical purposes hence illustrating the interlink impact of transport system in metropolitan form. It’s therefore not possible to separate transport interchange with the urban form basically because they mutually interrelate. However, transport interchange must always meet the required technical threshold capacity of operation so as to adequately serve the users efficiently.
Interchange designing involves provision of architectural and engineering services in re-creation of transport hubs on the land and above sea as is being illustrated during construction of the Lake Macquerie Transport Interchange in West Australia where architects involved are skilled and experienced. An interchange should function smoothly for road operators the likes of pedestrians, self - propelling machines among other transport operators. Interchange construction involves parties with different expertise skills like architects, engineers, city planners, inter change designers experts, financers of the project and its operations.
In Australia we have interchanges constructed to ease vehicle congestion in the just normal usable roads the like the one along Ryde Road whereby due to the high number of road users dropping off and picking up of passengers by the public vehicles used to create traffic since there were no transport interchanges along Ryde Road.
Interchanges have greatly contributed to the growth of cities in Australia both economically and infrastructural. The City of Lake Macquarie and its suburbs is expected to growth better as the plan of constructing The Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange (LMTI) is underway. It will clearly illustrates how interchanges have impacted positively to development of cities in Australia. Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange is an expected important infrastructure in New South Wales whereby it will facilitate reliability in transport system through minimization of usage of vehicle as car transport as well as provision of economic, social welfare benefits to the community around.
Transport hubs other than road means that have been seen over the years to dominate transport sector due to the good road network systems invested by the Australian Government there is investment done on rail, ship and of course air.
Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange is likewise going to contribute to the social lives of the citizens of Glendale-Cardiff Area that is currently classified to be among the best super hub in the world. The interchange connects Glendale and Cardiff forming a transit that is to meet over the time transport needs of the dwellers of Lower Hunter. The easy accessibility nature of the interchange brought about by its strategic location nature to the Lake Macquarie and its environs is further going to be linked to the north-south rail line.
Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange provides linkage to all modes of transport for purposes of enhancing economic levels and job opportunities. Cultural lifestyle of Lake Macquarie Community is nurtured by the civic opportunity spaces created by LMTI. This passenger transport interchange of Lake Macquarie facilitates drop off and pick up of passengers as they go to their day to day activities hence promoting inconveniences. Provision of car park bays by the interchange is also going to be of a great importance to the owners of Lake Macquarie City as well as to the city council of the city Council, (1998).
Since Infrastructure is the key to economy development the need to invest on it is required. Australia has been at the forefront on this deeming it as key priority for development. This has been supported by the fact that we’ve numerus transport hubs all over the continent from transport system to environmental sustainability. Conservation of environment is further enhanced by regulating the emissions from vehicles as well as from greenhouse.
LMTI is going to significantly impact the economic activities in Cardiff areas and Glendale upon completion. It’s further expected to solve the current problem at Lake Macquarie of the frequent usage of private vehicles as a means of transport to other better efficient mode of transport. Generally LMTI is greatly going to create unimaginable railway and bus interchanges that links business and industrial center to the community around as well as reduction of traffic congestion in the city, improvement of pedestrians and cyclists bay hence reducing accidents.
Great investments are expected in Glendale and Cardiff areas that will go hand in hand with creation of jobs as well as increase in economic activities, introduction of social amenities will like hospitals, schools, entertainments bazaars, tourism boosting and significantly improving people’s standard of living. Economically, socially and environmental wise great benefits resulting from the interchange of Lake Macquarie Transport is direly expected.
This interchange will greatly provide solution to an efficient optional means of transport inclusiveness. The parties therefore should therefore be aware that interchange has both negative and positive impact on;
Transport-whereby it eases and reduce traffic congestion as well as reduction of air pollution whereby vehicles aren’t spending most of their time in traffic with engines running, the parties involved both beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries should be aware of this positive impact of the interchange. It further provides quick access to good road network as it in seen North Western part of Australia whereby extensive mineral, agricultural and tourist development, needs were easily accessed to after construction of Mandurah Bridge in Northern Australia.
Efficient movement of high traffic as well as the volumes of vehicles in urban sector contributes to development of infrastructures like recreation centers, industries, and social amenities in the city because of its easy accessibility nature. This greatly invites investors to come and invest their money hence help in the growth of the economy of the city. Economy in Sydney Australia has greatly improved over the years because of its financial strengths and market hence creating opportunities for investors. Most financial institution have invested in Sydney hence making it to be Asians best financial hub. Tourism has further contributed towards the growth of the economy whereby tourist visits Sydney to see man made features like Sydney Harbor Bridges that has great relation to the interchanges in Sydney. Sydney City has therefore rapidly developed as a result of the infrastructures features set in place interchanges greatly contributing to this as is seen in the images;
However, traffic congestion reduction may fail to be achieved if there are no rules and regulation guarding access to intersecting highways that end up creating unfriendly and unsafe driving condition that creates disturbance on the freeway, therefore the body in charge of the transport should work on the aforesaid rule to safeguard freeways. Other road users the likes of the pedestrians, cyclists and runners may find it unsafe and uncomfortable to travel in the interchange therefore affecting their operations, hence the need to accommodate them may be through setting aside paths to be used by them or creation of foot bridges and tunnels to serve them.
Ideally to construct smooth interchange in an urban set up a need to plan is therefore required tasking designers, architects and engineers are to come up with landscape plan like the one used when constructing. It’s achieved through implementation of policies and regulation framework set in place guarding construction of highway-road infrastructures like interchange.
The need to seek approval from the sectors responsible for geology and environment is important in planning so as to provide assurance and compliance that the whole process is less harm to the environment both for fauna and flora just as witnessed in WestConnex whereby there was approval by the Minister of Planning to proceed with the construction.
After ensuring compliance/approval of set regulations and framework in place the process is good to commence. However, it’s clear that it’s only through planning that;
There is no interference with the growth and development in the area.
In place under financial constraints are monitored and controlled effectively and progressively.
Interchange urban planning dictates development to be set in place and the strategic location of the development as well. Planning involves different stake holders in this case it constitutes architects, engineers, city planners, inter change designer’s experts, financers of the project and that department of government that oversees and control the whole process. It’s therefore clear that when interchange planning and plans involved in construction of the roads transport system are linked and synchronized towards the goal of provision of efficient transport services economic development benefits are attained. Failing to plan and improper planning creates unmanageable issues in the interchanges developments both after completion and before completion. The following are the repercussions of not planning while constructing interchange;
Urban Process Planning is a gradual current and long term processes that take place to achieve efficient maximum utilization of land, orderly development, provision of access by cyclists and pedestrians and finally upholding the standards of traffic carrying capacity ceilings. Interchange plan reality is achieved through zoning, access control and implementation of the set policy framework set in place guiding development of the interchange.
Sydney is a city whereby motor vehicle is the common tool for transport and this was as result of good road network system especially as a result of the large number of interchanges that surround the city. Sydney citizens’ way of life has been made affordable because of the infrastructures available making Sydney to be classified as one of the best places to live in the world.
Conclusively there is no now doubt that transport hubs significantly contributes to development both by infrastructure as well as economic wise. Australian citizens are the great beneficiaries of the interchanges constructed in respective places all over the country. This is well seen whereby yearly it doesn’t miss people visiting the place because everything development wise and socially is in order. Mostly when there is growth in urban areas we like wise experience the same in its outskirts hence when interchanges are created in urban centers there is also the need to develop the same within the suburbs of the city and gradually going outside the city.
This will assist interlink of infrastructures and transport system between urban to urban, urban to rural and finally rural to rural. When this is done development spreads across the country creating employment as well as boosting the economy of the state. Similarly equality and equity is witnessed among the provinces facilitating fair distribution of resources hence improving the standards of living of the communities around. Knowledge, skills, and abilities remain important for economic growth for a state. More fundamentally, the government in operations should always oversee the repair, maintenance of the transport interchanges by engaging the community voluntarily in the whole process of ensuring that the hubs are in a stable state i.e. if it’s the street lights they are in good order, if toilets they are clean and well maintained, if its drainage system its well maintained. This goes all the way to employing security personnel who will be ensuring that the facilities at the hub are safe as well at the users of the Hub. It’s through this act that full sense of ownership is felt by all parties hence working towards its improvement and upgrading it. Transport hubs has proved to be dynamic in the sense that it improves standard of livings as well the economy a city.
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