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Monday, 23 November 1998

Minister for Transport
Minister for Roads

Media Release

Strategic sydney road plan unveiled

The Carr Government will complete a 120 kilometre orbital road network around Sydney in a major strategy to make travel times faster, take trucks off local roads and improve air quality.

The orbital network is the centrepiece of a $2 billion investment in the metropolitan road network in Action for Transport 2010, an integrated plan to take Sydney's transport system into the 21st century announced today.

The Minister for Roads, Mr Carl Scully, said the plan featured a major upgrade program for arterial roads including a $70 million upgrade of Parramatta Road and a $50 million upgrade of Military Road.

"This will improve road-based public transport, including bus-only lanes and transit lanes to reduce single occupancy vehicle use," Mr Scully said.

Mr Scully said the Sydney Orbital Road network of seven motorways, linked to form a ring around the metropolitan area, would remove trucks and through traffic from local roads creating a safer, less congested urban environment.

"The Sydney Road Orbital Road network will be a vital contributor to the NSW economy through significantly improved freight movement and business efficiency," Mr Scully said.

From mid 1999, the new $28.5 million Transport Management Centre will use the latest technology to control traffic more effectively, reducing congestion and improving bus services. Motorists will receive up to the minute information about traffic flow and conditions through variable message signs and other leading edge technology.

Transport and traffic information will be better co-ordinated. A range of automatic incident detection devices, including sensors in the pavement and closed circuit television, will mean that incidents are detected quicker and adjustments to traffic flow made faster.

"The result will be faster travel, better bus services and safer roads for the whole community," said Mr Scully.

Sydney Orbital Road projects are:

  • The Eastern Distributor will be the "gateway to Sydney", linking Australia's biggest city to the biggest airport and Port Botany. Construction is already well advanced. Opens to traffic 2000, toll funded.
  • The M5 East will link the M5 and General Holmes Drive near the airport. Preliminary work has commenced with major work in early 1999. Open to traffic 2001, toll free.
  • The Western Sydney Orbital will be the west's major north-south route, linking the M5, M4 and M2 and connecting Ingleburn, Wetherill Park and Norwest Business Park. A National Highway with federal funding responsibility, the State Government has commenced an Environmental Impact Statement. Open to traffic 2007, subject to federal funding.
  • The M2 to Gore Hill link, for which community consultation is underway. Open 2004, toll funded.

"The Cross City Tunnel links the Eastern and Western Distributor and will cut travel times from 20 minutes to 2 minutes. Traffic will avoid 12 sets of traffic lights. The tunnel will remove 48,000 vehicles a day from City streets to improve pedestrian safety and public transport," Mr Scully said.

The $90 million M4 widening program is near completion, providing an extra lane each way between Penrith and Parramatta to significantly reduce travel time sand improve traffic flow.

Arterial road improvements are:

  • City West Link - links Darling Harbour and CBD to Parramatta Road
  • Upgrading Metroad 7 (Cumberland Highway) between The Horsley Drive and Merrylands Road.
  • Improving Route 45 between Pennant Hills Road, Silverwater Road and the Princes Highway.
  • Upgrading Metroad 3 between the M2 at North Ryde and Mona Vale Road.

"This program opens opportunities for improving public transport, with a wide range of projects planned," Mr Scully said.

"They include a $70 million upgrade of Parramatta Road, with major intersection improvements and construction of the final stage of the City West Link.

"A $50 million Military Road upgrade will significantly reduce bus travel times to the northern peninsula with a series of major intersection upgrades.

"Stage 1 of the plan for Military Road will involve the improvement of city-bound transit lanes by 2000. $3.5 million worth of road and bus works have already been completed. Stage II will extend the outbound transit lane from the Warringah Freeway to the Spit Bridge.

"A number of projects are being investigated to improve the Princes Highway through the southern suburbs including transit lanes to reduce congestion and improve public transport opportunities.

"Transit lanes will be extended on Victoria Road to increase road capacity and improve travel times for buses and multi-occupancy vehicles. A $26 million grade separation on Victoria Road's Devlin Street is close to completion.

"Blackspot locations in Sydney with high accident histories will also be targeted for improvements designed to reduce fatalities and injuries and relieve traffic congestion."

All the major projects in Action for Transport 2010 are subject to normal environmental and planning approval and community consultation.