RESIDENTS of Australia's outer suburbs do not have to wait for higher housing densities before getting better public transport, according to new research, which could defuse one of urban planning's biggest controversies.

In a paper for the journal Australian Planner, Dr John Stone of the University of Melbourne and Dr Paul Mees of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology say many city dwellers have been presented with a false choice: live in apartments and enjoy good public transport or retain the house and land and rely on cars.

''Many planners, and other commentators on urban issues, appear to believe that getting significantly more people on public transport will not be possible until massive changes in suburban densities are achieved,'' they write. ''The evidence challenges this view.''

Sydney Adtranz Variotram

The issue of suburban density v public transport has challenged the simple minds of Vancouver's transport & urban planners, politicians, skyscraper advocates & transit providers – TransLink & BC Transit, as much as understanding the differences between: Commuter Rail, Metro, LRT, ART, MRT, BRT, Light Rail, Trams, Tram-Train & Streetcars

Dr Stone concludes his paper:

 ''The proven effectiveness of modern approaches to public transport service design in low-density suburbs offers a way to break the politicised stand-off between supporters of urban consolidation and residents who choose to live in a detached house on a suburban block.''

Would the architects of the FVRD/FVTS report, now admit that their tome was as about as useful as a one-legged man at an arse kicking contest and acknowledge that the Fraser Valley communities deserve better than a sub-standard bus service?