Westconnex Update from the NPBA

With Stage 2 awaiting the reply of 9000 plus EIS objections through the submission process, we are get getting ready for the next phase - Stage 3 - and it is looming as a bigger threat.

It has been a jam packed few months regarding Westconnex and protecting our business community.  For those of you who are still unaware of what Westconnex is proposing, here’s a short rundown.

  • Westconnex is a three stage road infrastructure project commissioned by Roads and Maritime Sydney and being delivered and managed by the Sydney Roads Authority
  • Stage 1 is from Parramatta to Haberfield
  • Stage 2 is King Georges Rd to St Peters
  • Stage 3 is a tunnel that connects the end of stage 2 at St Peters interchange with the end of stage 1 at Haberfield

The most significant potential impact to local business as a result of this project is

  • Construction will lead to major traffic delays in and around the precinct
  • These delays will lead to RMS changing traffic conditions with the likely result being clearways on streets such as King St, Enmore Road and Erskinville Rd
  • Clearways lead to an increase in fast moving traffic, a reduction in public amenity and les car parks for people to visit

There are many more potential impacts to our precinct and for a full overview, please review our Environmental Impact Statement submission on our website

Last November, the NPBA met with Minister Duncan Gay to discuss the challenges the precinct will face specifically during the construction period of Stage 2 . One of the key results from this meeting was a commitment for constant communication and consultation with RMS and the Sydney Motor Authority to ensure the concerns of our members are raised.

Minister Gay provided a firm commitment that there will be no changes to the clearway or parking restrictions on King St and that efforts were being made to protect the street as Australia’s premier High St.

The RMS team then explained the proposed ‘King St Gateway’ which is an unconfirmed project that will encourage north bound traffic on the Princess Highway to flow onto an extended Sydney Rd.  It will also encourage traffic south bound on Sydney Rd to follow onto the extended Princess highway.

At face value, this proposal would seem to help minimise the impact on King St and the subsequent flow on to other local roads.  Our issue with this is twofold

  1. This project is not confirmed and will take the agreement of the City of Sydney, Marrickville Council and RMS to make it a reality. They need to agree on ownership of this project and of course, who will pay for it.
  2. Suggested construction of this Gateway is in line with the construction of Stage 2, which means there will be further traffic chaos in and around the precinct leading to increased traffic movements

Minister Gays commitment to no changes on King St is based on an assumption in the EIS that there will be no increases in traffic movements in and around the precinct. Firstly, there is no traffic modelling completed for the 5 year construction period for Stage 2.  This period alone will cause major traffic delays and increased traffic movements along key roads in the precinct.

Secondly, these increases will force RMS to make changes to the road conditions in the precinct, namely, CLEARWAYS.  King St is the major concern, but Edgeware and Enmore Rd are threatened with the same potential impact.

We only have to think back to Parramatta Rd and Oxford St for some of the more recent examples of how clearways impact business.  The NPBA has taken on board the role of protecting our business community and will continue to do so to ensure our long term prosperity as a precinct.

We would like to thank Minister Anthony Albanese for his continued support and his hand in organising the meeting with Minister Gay.  Without Anthony’s support, this meeting would not have taken place.

To keep up to date with the latest news regarding Westconnex, please ensure you have liked our facebook page and also the Save Newtown Stop Westconnex page as well.  Both pages are constantly updated with information, events, forums and the latest news.

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