Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sydney Harbour: Bridge crowds praised for good behaviour


Sunday Mar 18 13:24 AEDT

Crowds celebrating the Sydney Harbour Bridge's 75th birthday have been praised for their behaviour. Thousands of people have poured into Sydney's central business district to walk across the "coathanger". Motorists have appeared to heed warnings not to travel to the city by car and use public transport instead, with the streets virtually deserted of vehicles.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma said he had travelled into the city with his family by train on Sunday morning, describing it as a "very pleasant trip". "The planning has been extensive, it has been treated seriously as if it was a New Year's Eve event," he told reporters.

"So far it's been a successful and enjoyable day. "Tens of thousands of families have come out in a great spirit of celebrating our bridge, one of the great icons of the world." Organisers expect about 500,000 people to venture into the city on Sunday to celebrate the bridge's birthday.

Transport Minister John Watkins said public transport was running well and there had been no reports of police having to deal with any misbehaviour among the crowds. "So far Sydney siders have done what we thought they would - they've taken part in this great festival, this great historic occasion with all the good sense and good humour that we know they have. "Reports so far show that transport's working very well with light to medium loads. "Traffic is flowing very smoothly in and around the city. Crowds are flowing smoothly. "But it's early days, there's still tens of thousands of Sydneysiders that have not left home to come into the city because they'll be walking across the bridge until 7 o'clock tonight."

NSW Police and the NSW Ambulance Service have reported a quiet morning with no serious incidents recorded. The RTA has reported some delays on the northern and southern approaches to the harbour tunnel and Victoria Road, Rozelle but no major traffic incidents have occurred.
©AAP 2007
This is the first of a short series of articles released by the AAP about The Sydney Harbour Bridge, 75th Anniversary of the opening in 1932 during the Great Depression. I hope you enjoy the stories. Sydney is a great place to visit from wherever you are.
Sue Bayliss. Cairns, Australia.

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