NSW Government announces draft transport plan

On Tuesday this week, the NSW government announced the latest transport master plan, proposing four new motorways and another rail crossing under Sydney Harbour.

The plan identifies four lead projects to complete the ‘missing links’ in Sydney’s motorway network: the M4 motorway extension between Strathfield in the inner west and the Port Botany–Sydney Airport precinct in the east, including a tunnel under the inner western suburbs; the widening of the M5 East, and linking the F3 to M2 in northern Sydney. In addition to these, the report also proposes a F6 freeway to the south of Sydney of part of the long-term plan.

On the rail system, the plan proposes the completion of the $8.5 billion North West Rail Link, and a second underground harbour rail crossing as part of a new CBD line.

Heavy rail is complemented by proposed light rail through the Sydney CBD, and into the Eastern Suburbs, linking the University of Sydney in the inner west, with Barangaroo and Central Station in the CBD, and continuing out to Moore Park, Randwick and the University of NSW in the east.

Finally, the plan also proposes rapid bus corridors in Sydney’s north-west, south-west, and northern beaches.

According to ABC News, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said that in order to fund the transport vision the government is considering expanding distanced-based tolling, changing car registration charges and increasing CBD parking rates. Roads Minister Duncan Gay claims that the best investment toaddress congestion is to increase supply of parking at railway stations and bus stations.

The Government says it will wait until it receives a separate report from Infrastructure NSW before prioritising projects.

The full draft report is available on the NSW Transport department’s website here.

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