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FIVE KEY ROAD and public transport
projects across the Illawarra region and
southern Sydney could unlock huge
economic benefits, create thousands of
jobs, reduce congestion and improve
safety, according to a report
commissioned by the Illawarra Business
Chamber (IBC) and the NRMA.
Upgrading Picton Road and delivering
the Mount Ousley Interchange and
Widening project by 2025, together with
upgrading the Princes Motorway at Bulli
Tops by 2028, would deliver annual
benefits of $95 million to road users,
$125 million in economic output, an
increase in NSW Gross State Product by
$630 million and create 1100 new jobs.
The Upgrading Road Connectivity
Between the Illawarra and Greater
Sydney report also warns that Picton
Road will reach peak-hour capacity
within a few years. It carries 20,000
vehicles a day and volumes are
increasing at around eight per cent
annually. A quarter of the vehicle
movements are heavy vehicles, making
Picton Road a key strategic economic
asset for NSW and Australia.
The report also assesses the economic
impact for NSW and the Illawarra region
from completing the first three stages of
the F6 Extension and building the South
West Illawarra Rail Line (SWIRL). If
constructed, these projects are
estimated to deliver more than $740
million in annual economic benefit.
Current travel times from Wollongong
to Sydney in peak hour can be at least 90
minutes for the 85km journey. The same
journey from Newcastle – which is twice
as far – only takes 30 minutes longer.
Congestion and unpredictable travel
times along the Sutherland to Sydney leg
mean motorists are spending longer
periods of time commuting.
The F6 Extension is expected to slash
travel times in the morning peak by 27
minutes. The SWIRL could reduce the
current daily commute from Wollongong
to south-west Sydney from 125 minutes
by 35 to 40 minutes. More importantly, it
would take trucks off Picton Road and
Mount Ousley and connect the region to
the growing south-west Sydney economy.
IBC executive director Adam Zarth says
the Illawarra’s $26 billion economy makes
it the third-largest in NSW, yet travel
delays are costing the region over $500
million a year – a number that’ll continue
to grow unless the necessary investment
in transport infrastructure is made.
“This joint report between the IBC
and the NRMA demonstrates how key
transport infrastructure projects will
transform the Illawarra region, boost the
state’s economy and improve the quality
of life for people of the Illawarra and
Greater Sydney,” Mr Zarth says.
“The growth underway in south-west
Sydney and the development of the
Western Sydney Airport means efficient
transport connections are needed
beyond the congested Sydney basin
to the Illawarra.”
NRMA Director Marisa Mastroianni says
road and rail infrastructure between the
Illawarra and Greater Sydney has not kept
pace with the growth in traffic volumes,
and this is becoming increasingly evident.
The NSW Government needs to ensure
the region’s transport needs are met in
a timely manner.
“ Weekday traffic volumes north from
the Illawarra will increase from the
current 45,000 to 54,400 vehicles by
2032. Traffic volumes to the west are
increasing at a faster rate and will exceed
flows to the north in 2032, so doing
nothing is not an option if we want the
Illawarra to reach its economic
potential,” Ms Mastroianni says.
The report also found:
■ Seventeen per cent of Illawarra residents
travel to Sydney for work each day.
15,800 workers outside the Illawarra
travel to the region each day for work.
Eighty per cent of northbound trips are
by car; 20 per cent by public transport.
The most significant bottlenecks on the
Sydney to Illawarra journey occur inside
Sydney. These are at Captain Cook,
Tom Ugly and Alford’s Point bridges.
Key projects will unlock the south
A new NRMA report highlights the ecomomic and social benefits of
addressing commuting problems between the Illawara and Greater Sydney
kept pace with the
growth in traffic volumes
18/6/18 6:20 pm
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