KAREN Howard, the former Liberal state candidate for Newcastle, has broken rank with the party and criticised the Baird Government’s light rail plan for the city.
Telling the Herald she spoke as “someone who wants what’s best for Newcastle”, Ms Howard called on the government to scrap plans for segregated, raised light rail lanes in favour of a “mixed running” system.
“In my opinion, mixed running is the best option to ensure public amenity is maintained, car parking on Hunter Street is maintained and we have a city where people can move around as seamlessly as possible on foot, cycling, via the tram or via motor vehicles,” Ms Howard said.
Ms Howard campaigned heavily on light rail while contesting the 2015 state election, in which Labor’s Tim Crakanthorp retained the seat he had won at the previous year’s by-election.
The former Liberal candidate added that she expected to “take on some political water” as a result of criticising the light rail plan.