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Loades says. “ Using motorways means
consuming 30 per cent less fuel.”
The NRMA’s most recent business
motoring survey also showed the benefits
to small business, with 35 per cent saying
congestion in western Sydney was adding
up to $5000 to operating costs.
“WestConnex will get many heavy
vehicles and business fleets off our
surface roads and into tunnels – where
they belong,” Mr Loades says.
“ This will help businesses with the daily
challenge of delivering goods and services
on time, and that’s exactly the type of
assistance they need to grow their
businesses, and Sydney’s economy.”
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay says
the new M5 will halve the time it takes for
motorists to get from Beverly Hills to St
Peters, from 20 minutes down to 10.
“The M5 is currently congested for 13
hours a day – this new motorway, opening
in 2020, will get drivers moving again.
“ By moving vehicles underground,
we’re able to create more than 18
hectares of new recreational green
space, including six hectares at a new
Interchange at St Peters.”
While the NRMA supports WestConnex,
it maintains that the project must
represent fair value for motorists. Mr
Loades believes tolls shouldn’t rise more
than the CPI if the completed road
network is to be effective.
fair price and the public feels like it’s
getting value for money.
“ Otherwise people won’t use it – it will
go down the path of the Cross City Tunnel.
If people feel they’re getting value for
money, then it will flourish like the M7.”
The NRMA’s focus on the SouthConnex
project along the Princes Highway
corridor has gained momentum, with
Roads Minister Duncan Gay announcing
additional funding of $20 million.
Those who live in the Illawarra,
Sutherland Shire, St George or areas
surrounding the corridor may have
participated in a survey of residents who
would be affected by the project. It found
74 per cent of responses supported the
construction of SouthConnex from
Waterfall to St Peters, compared with 66
per cent in a 2005 survey.
This increase in support wasn’t
surprising, given almost 70 per cent of
locals said they had to leave home earlier
to get to where they needed to be on time.
Half arrived home later, more than one-
third shopped or spent leisure time in
different areas to avoid traffic, and more
than one quarter simply didn’t leave home
as often due to worsening traffic.
Most concerning of all, 82 per cent of
residents believed local traffic congestion
had worsened in the past 12 months.
Mr Gay says the Government is
committed to moving the project forward.
“ $20 million will be spent in 2017 to
continue detailed investigations and
refine design solutions.
“ The F6 was identified in the NSW Long
Term Transport Master Plan and the State
Infrastructure Strategy as one of the
future strategic priorities for Sydney’s
road network,” Mr Gay says.
NRMA Director Marisa Mastroianni
believes the Illawarra will benefit greatly
from the completion of the M1 Motorway.
“ By finishing the old F6 Motorway to
central Sydney, this daily commute will
improve considerably for our local
Members. This project will strengthen the
Illawarra region by making our local
tourism destinations more accessible and
improving the delivery of goods and
services,” she says.
“ But most importantly of all, it will get
our local Members home to their families
sooner by cutting the painful daily
commute to Sydney that so many of us
The executive director for the Illawarra
Business Chamber and Illawarra First,
Chris Lamont, says the construction of
SouthConnex will be a game changer for
the economic development of the
Illawarra and greater Sydney.
“ This is a critical piece of infrastructure
for NSW. SouthConnex would increase
state productivity, stimulate investment,
substantially improve freight and
commuter connectivity and most
importantly improve road safety for road
users,” Mr Lamont says.
Lord Mayor of Wollongong, Gordon
Bradbery OAM, also notes why it’s
valuable for the area: “Wollongong is an
important knowledge services centre,
international trade hub and a leading
university city. The Illawarra is likely to be
home to around half a million people by
2050. Wollongong city is at the heart of
the region and will drive the economic
growth, employment and diversification
of the region’s economy.”
Sutherland Shire Mayor Carmelo Pesce
says many residents who have expressed
concern about traffic congestion will
“We need to ensure the toll is set at a fair price
and the public feels it’s getting value for money”
The widening of the M4
motorway at Auburn, Sydney.
OPEN ROAD 13
14/12/2016 7:58 am
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