Sutherland Shire Council supports airport parking levy to fund lower train fares

Domestic terminal station at Sydney Airport. Picture: Dean Seawell
Domestic terminal station at Sydney Airport. Picture: Dean Seawell

Sutherland Shire Council is supporting a proposal to impose a levy on motorists who park at Sydney Airport and use the proceeds to remove the train station access fee.

The council expressed its support for the move in a submission on a Productivity Commission draft report on improving efficiency at the airport.

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The council's submission says Sydney Airport and surrounding aviation industries were a major employment destination for the Sutherland Shire workforce.

About 34 per cent of these workers travelled from St George and the shire.

The submission said the recently released Sydney Airport Masterplan 2033 showed 15 per cent of people travelling to and from the airport used the train.

While the number had increased by 42 per cent since 2012, a major barrier to increasing greater mode share was the access fee for airport stations of $14.30 for adults and $12.80 for children [regular users receive a discount].

"A study undertaken by Booz Allen for Sydney Airport shows that the removal of the Airport Railway Station Access Fee has the potential to increase the mode share of trips by rail from 11 per cent to 35 per cent," the submission says.

"Applying regulations that levy car parking and access to the airport by car is suggested as a means of subsidising the Station Access Fee and helping to reduce traffic congestion generated by trips to and from the airport by car."

The submission says increasing rail use would reduce the high cost of traffic congestion and air pollution.

"Sydney Airport generates 3.2 million vehicle movements per month," the submission says.

"Airport forecasts points to an increase in passenger numbers of 51 per cent to about 66 million in the next 20 years.

"This clearly supports the need to examine ways in which motor vehicle mode share could be reduced.

"Typically, around 33,000 passengers pass through the domestic and international terminal stations on a busy day."