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Road to nowhere: NSW transport plan falls short

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December 10, 2018 by admin

A NEW plan for the state’stransport system confirms regional NSW needs new roads, bridges, buses and trainsbut fails to reveal when the projects will be rolled out or how they will befunded.
Nanjing Night Net

The draft plan, releasedtoday, has been largely devoted to strategies to alleviate congestion stranglingthe Sydney transport network.

However, a small part of the 370-pageplan outlines future transport needs for growing regional cities, as well as thechallenges small towns will face to retain viable public transport services.

Most metropolitan or regional projectsare listed as medium-to-long-term aspirations (list below), meaning they willnot be built for at least five or possibly up to 20 years from now.

The report recommended thepreservation of land for the proposed Bells Line Expressway over the BlueMountains but stopped short of listing the project as even a long-termpriority.

It also highlighted the needto replace dozens of timber bridges before roads could accommodate heavyfreight vehicles.

A fund reserved for roadimprovement projects that would improve travel times and reliability has been floatedfor the Hunter region, the Central Coast and the Illawarra.

In Sydney, the plan endorsedfour major motorway projects: the M5 East freeway expansion, the M4 extensionfeaturing a tunnel under the inner west, the F6 to the Sutherland Shire, andthe F3 to M2 link in northern Sydney. A second harbour rail crossing would be a‘long-term’ initiative.

As for how projects would befunded, the plan advocates “efficient public sector operatingmodels”, “smarter project procurement”, “consideration ofthe benefits of more efficient road user charges” for trucks and motorwayusers, unspecified “value capture” from major transport investments,and “identifying future funding opportunities by working with NSW Treasury”.

The draft NSW Long TermTransport Master Plan will be followed by a final plan in November. A separateplan, the State Infrastructure Strategy, will be presented to the governmentthis month by its advisory body, Infrastructure NSW. It is unclear how theplans will relate.

Nearly 2.9 million people live in regional NSW.

Each day, people in regional area make around 7.5 milliontrips – 90 per cent by car.

Regional buses carry over 5.7 million passengers a yearwhile CountryLink transports about 1.9 million rail passengers a year.

WHAT THE PLAN MEANS FOR YOUR AREA

NORTHERN RIVERS

Short-term

Complete duplication of thePacific Highway and widening works and upgrades on the Bruxner Highway. Completethe Casino to Murwillumbah rail corridor investigation.

Medium-to-long-term

Additional crossing of theClarence River at Grafton. Tabulam Bridge across the Clarence River identifiedfor replacement.

MID-NORTH COAST

Short-term

Complete duplication of the Pacific Highway through theregion. Complete upgrades to sections of the Oxley Highway between PortMacquarie and Wauchope.

Medium-to-long-term

Bridge over Sportsman Creek Bridge at Lawrence upgraded. ConstructCoffs Harbour bypass.

NEW ENGLAND

Short-term

Upgrade the New England Highway near Tamworth.Complete upgrades to New England Highway at Bolivia Hill south of Tenterfield. Additionalovertaking lanes on the Newell Highway. Complete pavement reconstruction of theNewell Highway between Narrabri and Moree. Deliver stage two of Moree Bypass. Planfor the Tenterfield bypass. Tulludunna Bridgeon the Kamilaroi Highway at Wee Waa and the Gunnedah rail bridge on the OxleyHighway at Gunnedah replaced. Replace the New Street Bridge over the rail lineat Gunnedah.

HUNTER

Short-term

Upgrade link between the F3 Freeway/Hunter Expresswayinterchange and Broadmeadow in Newcastle.

Medium-to-long-term

Continue delivery of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass. Consider extending the F3 to Raymond Terrace.Consider best way to reduce the impacts of freight movements on Muswellbrook,Scone and Singleton. Plan for construction of strategic rail freight corridorat Fassifern and the Hexham rail bypass. Glennies Creek, Williams River andPatterson River bridges upgraded or replaced.

CENTRAL WEST

Short-term

Upgrades to Newell Highway and Great Western Highway to addresscongestion in Blue Mountains, Bathurst and Orange. Complete study into theBells Line of Road and protect corridor. Construct a heavy vehicle bypass of WestWyalong.

Medium-to-long-term

McKanes Bridge over the Cox River and Warroo Bridgeacross the Lachlan River upgraded.

ILLAWARRA

Short-term

Upgrades to the Princes Highway between Gerringong andBomaderry. Upgrades to Picton Road.

Medium-to-long-term

Investigate bypasses of Foxground and Berry.

MURRUMBIDGEE

Short-term

Complete the remaining bypass at Holbrook.

Medium-to-long-term

Additional overtaking lanes and heavy vehicle rest areason Newell Highway, Sturt Highway and the Mid Western Highway. Improve walkingand cycling infrastructure in Wagga Wagga.Kapooka Bridge on the Olympic Highway replaced.Bridges at Tooleybuc over the Murray River and Swan Hill over the Wakool Riverreplaced or upgraded.


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