This week in transport (29 June 2014)

Posted: June 29, 2014 in Transport
Tags: , , ,

Video: Sydney’s Trains – Flashback Report, Seven News (21 June 2014)

Monday: Opal rolls out to buses in Northwest Sydney

600 buses in the Hillsbus fleet covering Castle Hill, Rouse Hill, Pennant Hills, Parramatta, Blacktown, and express services along the M2 Hills Motorway to the City will become Opal enabled starting from Monday 30 June. There are now more than 340,000 Opal cards issued, with the bus rollout expected to finish by the end of 2014.

Friday: Ashfield Park saved from WestConnex while WestConnex saved from inquiry

Plans for a tunnel connecting Parramatta Road to the M4 East portion of WestConnex that would have impacted on Ashfield Park have been abandoned as part of a deal between the NSW Government and the Shooters and Fishers Party. The tunnel will now emerge at another location, as yet undecided, which will leave the park untouched. In exchange, the Shooters and Fishers have agreed to not back a proposed Parliamentary inquiry into WestConnex.

Map of the WestConnex freeway. Click to enlarge. (Source: RMS)

Map of the WestConnex freeway. Click to enlarge. (Source: RMS)

Saturday: WestConnex access roads around Parramatta abandoned

Previously planned links between the M4 and local roads around Parramatta have been abandoned as not “cost effective”. A number of the M4’s on and off ramps around Parramatta only provide access in one direction or only from certain roads. The planned widening of the M4 between Parramatta and Strathfield will still go ahead as planned.

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Comments
  1. Alex says:

    Thanks Bambul.

    It’s a shame the upper house inquiry has been abandoned, as WestConnex really needs to be put under a microscope. Ever since it emerged as a thought bubble from Greiner’s and Broad’s time together at Infrastructure NSW, their $10++ billion riposte to the inner city residents of the 1970s (who had the temerity to stop the motorway plans of that era which would have resulted in the destruction of Glebe and other suburbs), WestConnex has received uncritical adulation from politicians of every stripe, Labor and Liberal, State and Federal who all seem keen to throw buckets of money at it.

    There has been little or no debate about whether this is actually a good idea or not, what the alternatives are and how they compare or whether this was the best use of the taxpayers’ money, whether or not the funds come from privatising electricity assets. And apart from a bit of red paint for extra bus lanes on Parramatta Road there appears to be no complementary public transport strategy – indeed, do we know whether or not the eventual operator of the motorway is going to be protected from competition from new public or private transport infrastructure servicing the same corridor?

    I also love the way the proposal keeps chopping and changing. First there was the slot motorway which was thankfully killed off when somebody sat down and worked out that it would actually cost more than a tunnel (never mind the fact that it would make Parramatta Road even worse than it is today), then there was the sudden shift of the tunnel portal away from Ashfield Park, the abandoning of the additional ramps at Parramatta Road and the changing of the construction sequence with even the minister admitting that the plans were released too early.

    These are all the hallmarks of a poorly-conceived and ill-thought out proposal, which as other people have pointed out will induce more traffic and create yet more demand for further north-south links, CBD links etc etc. We simply can’t keep trying to build our way out of congestion in this manner. Personally I think the money would be much better spent on a metro under Parramatta Road and a two-lane dedicated truck corridor to the port and airport (which I think was Ron Christie’s idea), combined with strategies to shift more freight onto rail, but I’m sure there are other alternatives to WestConnex in its current form.

  2. shiggyshiggy says:

    The more we find out about Westconnex, the more worried I become. The extra tunnels they have announced make this project truly gargantuan, comparable to the “big dig” in Boston. Some of the connections in the Inner City(like the Anzac Bridge/city west link) are going to make congestion worse, not better, IMO. The worst aspect of this project is the lack of a coherent PT policy. I’ve heard busways, extra bus lanes, trams all thrown out there, but nothing really concrete or comparable to the huge investment in this road. It looks like business as usual: car is king.

  3. Ray says:

    I actually agree with the concept of the WestConnex proposal and its more recent extension to the Gladesville and Anzac Bridges and ultimately to the future F6, now M1 (which was what had been proposed by the previous Labor Government), because it completes a continuous motorway network for Sydney. The intent is not to encourage more car traffic into the Sydney CBD, but to create links to bypass it. Do you seriously consider that dumping M4 Motorway traffic on Parramatta Rd at Concord is a better option? The traffic is not going to go away.

    Having said that, the Liberal Government’s plans for the WestConnex have been flawed from the start, with the ill-conceived slot proposal by Infrastructure NSW and the subsequent plan for linking the M4 East extension with the M5 East, without motorway standard connections to the broader network.

    The other major flaw is the lack of complementary public transport links, such as an extension of light rail along Parramatta Rd to link up with the Western Sydney Light Rail Network at Sydney Olympic Park.

  4. Alexsg says:

    @Ray – While building this motorway may provide some short term relief from congestion it is not a long-term answer. I accept that some motorway infrastructure may be desirable in an urban context but it will always induce more traffic. In the longer term you can’t outbuild congestion with more and more motorways without completely destroying the urban fabric, going broke, or both, so you have to draw the line somewhere.

    My biggest problem with this particular proposal is that everybody jumped on it as the answer to congestion without any rational debate about the alternatives. You say the traffic isn’t going to go away unless we build this particular project, but do we know if this is the only way to make it go away? We don’t because the process to date has not looked at options such as, say, a metro, a Parramatta express device or even alternative motorway routes.

    We also don’t seem to have had any real debate about establishing priorities for the allocation of scarce funding. Even if this project is a good idea, is it really the top priority for the transport budget? And as you indicate, why isn’t there at least a package of complementary public transport projects? Why is the answer always a road, and only a road?

    And as you concede the planning for this thing was flawed from the start. The fact that both state and federal governments are do keen to throw money at a project which seems to gave been so poorly thought out beggars belief. For example, even if there are detailed and credible usage projections, how are these affected by all the chopping and changing in the route and construction sequencing?

  5. QPP says:

    Instinctively I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing, because Parramatta Road is such a disaster area

    From a more objective standpoint, though, I don’t fully understand the patterns of movement along the M4/Parramatta Rd and the M5 now or projected and therefore what the project is intended to address. Is it to service anticipated increase (and relief of current congestion) of people driving from western Sydney to the CBD? Or people driving from western Sydney to the airport or Port Botany? Or freight movements? Or ditto for the M5/south west of the city

    This isn’t to say these projections and justifications don’t exist, it’s just that I haven’t looked for them.

  6. A Van Ryan says:

    Noticed Opal card makes trains & buses cheaper for me NOW, but I do wonder if its just a carrot to get us all to sign up and then they RAISE it up? Will it be cheaper forever or just now while theyre not in demand?

  7. Simon says:

    A Van Ryan, I am sure the fares will rise, because they are too cheap. Nothing to do with Opal.

  8. JC says:

    @Ray has fallen for the roadbuiders myth that traffic on motorways just keeps circulating without any beginning or end. Every car ion a motorway is making a specific trip that starts and ends on a local road. Increased traffic on motorways *unavoidably* means more traffoc on ;ocal roads getting to and from the motorway.

    …having said that I can see that there are a couple of road-building objectives that the west-connex might address.

    1. Getting traffic to and from Port Botany off local roads; and
    2. Minimising the tikme on local roads for stuff coming into Sydney from the South abd heading wast – and vice versa.

    We could do this by:
    # having a motorway standard link from PB to the M5 (bizarrely not on the WC agenda); and
    # building a motorway link between the M5 and the M4 (the last piece of the WC jigsaw to be built only after the destruction of the inner city, Newtown, Alexandria etc by dumping the additional M$ and M5 traffic there) – which could be much more cheaply and with greater benefit further out (under/through the Belfield-Enfield-Chullora rail land being the obvious first choice for further investigation).

  9. Ray says:

    @JC. I’m sorry, but you’ve missed the whole point I was making about having a continuous motorway network, rather than dumping traffic onto the local road system, ie, Parramatta Rd at Concord. It’s no different to the original ill-conceived M2 Motorway proposal which abruptly ended at the Lane Cove River, dumping traffic onto Epping Rd through Lane Cove. The Lane Cove Tunnel has alleviated this congestion point.

    I’m glad to see that you at least acknowledge that the WestConnex could have some benefit in addressing road access to Port Botany and providing a bypass for traffic to and from the South and West. I agree it needs to go further in providing a direct motorway link to Port Botany.

    The other major benefit, which hasn’t been emphasised, is that it provides the backbone for a future North/South Inner West Bypass via the Gladesville Bridge, linking the M1 Pacific Motorway with the proposed F6 (M1) motorway extension to the South Coast. This will redirect a substantial amount of North/South traffic away from the congested Harbour Bridge/Harbour Tunnel route. Sydney suffers by having a limited number of harbour crossings, particularly in the inner city, and anything that can spread the cross harbour traffic flow further west has to be a major benefit.

  10. JC says:

    @Ray – I think you missedd my point – that no matter how big and contiunuous and joined up the motorway network is, it will sooner or later dump onto local roads – due to the simple fact that people don’t live/work/shop/play on motorways. Any motorway trip has at least a few km either end on local roads – the only way to stop congestion on local roads is to shift the trips to public transport!

    ..and on the north-south route don’t underestimate the difficulty of getting the F6 corridor back from the park-users who are now used to it. Remember these are the same people that saved Wolli Creek. Can we really afford a tunnel from Sans Souci to the Airport??

  11. Ray says:

    @JC. You’ve missed MY point about the benefit of a continuous motorway network. It doesn’t “dump” traffic onto local roads as you suggest, such as the M4 Motorway abruptly ending at Concord and dumping ALL of its traffic onto Parramatta Rd, but distributes it to arterial and local roads along its route. There is a difference. It also provides a high standard route for through traffic which doesn’t need to access the local road system.

    I’m all in favour of shifting as many trips as possible to public transport, but the reality is that on a Sydney wide basis, the overwhelming majority of trips, including commercial traffic, is by road and that’s unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. On the other hand, the number of commuters travelling to the Sydney CBD by public transport is around 75%, which is high by world standards, so we need to put this into perspective. Cities like London and Paris, which have extensive public transport networks, far superior to Sydney, still have a need for road based infrastructure.

    With regard to the F6 corridor, I don’t see any problem in “getting it back” from the park-users as you put it, since it was never given to them. They have always used it at the discretion of the State Government. Comparison with Wolli Creek is irrelevant. I don’t think there will be any need for a tunnel alternative, when the surface route, thanks to the visionary planners of yesteryear, will be significantly cheaper to construct.

  12. Simon says:

    Regarding the continuous motorway network, I can only accept that argument in relation to an F3-M2 link. I don´t agree with that argument for justifying WestConnex, which includes two extra lanes on the inner part of the existing M4 which is sure to promote additional car trips. It provides a motorway network in a place where such a thing is inappropriate. That´s only one example.

  13. Ray says:

    @Simon. There is a misunderstanding about the role of a continuous motorway network, particularly on connections to the Sydney CBD.

    Its function is not to encourage more commuter traffic to the CBD by car, but to provide a more efficient means of servicing the CBD and its surrounding environs by commercial vehicles, many of which originate from the distribution centres in the western suburbs. This includes Sydney Airport, Port Jackson (yes, it still is a working port) and Port Botany. The Sydney CBD is after all the largest single employment destination and it is illogical that it should be cut off from the city’s prime road network. There is already a disincentive for commuters to drive to the CBD, regardless of an upgraded road network, because of the limited and high cost of all day parking. I don’t think forcing the high volume of commercial vehicles onto the local road system through the inner city, particularly Parramatta Rd, is a smart option. The aim of the motorway network is to take traffic OFF the local road system and bring it closer to its destination in a more efficient manner.

    The other major advantage, which I previously mentioned, is to provide a motorway standard route for through traffic which doesn’t need to access the Sydney CBD or local road network. For example, Sydney has five major road corridors from outside the region passing through the city, the Pacific Hwy/Motorway (A1/M1), the Hills Motorway/Castlereagh Freeway (M2), the Great Western Highway/Western Motorway (A4/M4), the South Western Motorway (M5) and the Princes Hwy/Motorway (A1/M1). There is currently no direct motorway link between the M1 Pacific Motorway, M2 Hills Motorway, M4 Western Motorway and the M1 Princes Motorway. This will be partly redressed with the proposed M1 to M2/M7 link and WestConnex which will link the M4 and M5 with the future M1 (F6) extension. The missing link is the north/south connection between the M1 Pacific Motorway and the M1 Princes Motorway (the Inner West Bypass of the CBD). The connection between the M4 and M5 as part of Westconnex will form the backbone of this future route, completing the continuous motorway network for the inner city.

  14. Simon says:

    I understand your point of view, Ray, but even if it were tolled for private vehicles and free for commercial and no M4 expansion, there will inevitably be an increase in private vehicle use for trips heading to the CBD from the west. Perhaps that will come at the expense of people being unable to drive in from other areas, but I see this as unlikely. I haven´t seen any proposal to ramp up the CBD parking tax to compensate for the increased incentive to drive into the CBD that the WestConnex will bring, or anything else.

    I see your point on the F6-M5 connection, but I cannot see why you are so keen on an M4 east project. Such projects are just a bad policy.

  15. Ray says:

    @Simon. I want it make it very clear that I am not advocating the construction of the M4 East as part of WestConnex as a means of increasing private car use into the Sydney CBD. As I said, there is already a disincentive, regardless of the road upgrades, because of the limited amount and high cost of all day parking which is not going to change.

    Having said that, there is still high demand for commercial traffic to have efficient access to and from the Sydney CBD, Port Jackson, Port Botany, Sydney Airport and the Central Industrial Area. This can’t be achieved by having to run the gauntlet of the congested inner city local road system which is not designed to cope with it. Do you seriously consider that dumping M4 traffic onto Parramatta Rd is a better option than having a motorway standard route which connects commercial traffic directly with its intended destination, bypassing the local road system? The importance of having a high standard continuous, interconnected motorway network for through traffic can’t be overstated.

    Where the government has failed, is to explain the reasoning behind the need for an upgraded inner city motorway network and the lack of complementary public transport upgrades, such as the previously proposed West Metro or extension of Light rail along Parramatta Rd. These projects must also be included even though the timeframe would be extended. It is then more likely to receive community support.

  16. Simon says:

    Yes, I do think dumping the M4 traffic onto Parramatta Rd at Concord is better than a motorway into Five Dock or the Anzac Bridge. Sorry, I just totally disagree with your point of view. I acknowledge your point on commercial vehicles, but the unavoidable increase in demand for single occupant vehicles into the CBD outweighs it IMO. Look at the M5 east, which is totally full in the peak (and outside it, but that’s another story).

    There needs to be a reduction in the amount of parking in the CBD, and making moves to increase the demand for it will make the economics of this much harder.

  17. Ray says:

    I guess that we’ll just have to agree to disagree Simon. I don’t accept that constructing the M4 East as part of WestConnex will encourage more commuters to drive into the CBD. They would still be faced with the same parking issues, which I agree is the means by which commuter traffic can be controlled. However, travelling to destinations outside of the CBD, ie Sydney Airport, Port Botany or through to the North Shore is a different matter. This is where there will be the greatest benefit by providing a bypass of the local road system, as I said, particularly for commercial traffic. I seriously doubt if the bulk of M5 East traffic is headed for the CBD. It is more likely to bypass it.

  18. Simon says:

    > I don’t accept that constructing the M4 East as part of WestConnex will encourage more commuters to drive into the CBD.

    Wow.

    > I seriously doubt if the bulk of M5 East traffic is headed for the CBD. It is more likely to bypass it.

    A sizeable portion. And there needs to be more PT use to places like the Airport, Botany, Randwick, Bondi Junction. Not to mention UNSW.

  19. Ray says:

    @Simon. You overlook the fact that 75% of commuter trips into the CBD is by public transport, as well as walking and cycling and I can’t see that changing for reasons previously expressed. I stand by my comments. I will agree with you though that better public transport links are needed to the peripheral destinations such as Sydney Airport etc.

  20. Simon says:

    25% isn´t by PT. That 25% is enough to cause significant congestion.

  21. The evidence seems to support Ray’s view. If you look at Journeys To Work (JTW) for 2001, 2006, and 2011 the share of car trips has actually declined. This is despite the fact that you had 3 major road projects opening during this time (M5 East, Lane Cove Tunnel, Cross City Tunnel) that could funnel traffic into the CBD (or improve CBD surface traffic in the case of the CCT) but only 1 major public transport project opening during this time (ECRL) that was CBD focussed.

    The only conclusion I have from that is that if these roads induced traffic (which I’m sure they did), then it was not directed towards the CBD as cars saw their mode share actually *decline*.

    EDIT: I forgot to include my source – http://chartingtransport.com/2013/02/16/the-journey-to-work-and-the-city-centre-australian-cities-2001-2011/

  22. Some more reading (from the same link) does dampen that conclusion somewhat. When looking at absolute numbers (rather than proportions), the total number of people arriving to work in the Sydney CBD by car between 2001 and 2011 increased by 6,228. So there was an increase. Though this was at a lower rate than the existing car mode share, despite road construction. So I still think the argument that limited parking acts as an effective constraint does hold up.

  23. JC says:

    I’m not sure that traffic into a tightly defined CBD is the problem – people expect traffic jams there, and they can be controlled by other means (including the best of all – pedestrianisation).

    The real problem with Sydney traffic is the gridlock that covers the arterial and sub-arterial roads in the central core bounded by the harbour, Georges River and Duck Creek. (you cpuld also add in the lower north shore.

    The traffic planners that made thisd mess and their allies like Ray will tell you that the solution tio this is to put these cars onto motorways. They ignore the unbelievably obvious facts that (1) this indices traffic and (2) that indiced traffic has to get to and from the motorways. A school teacher who lives in Auburn and works in Hurstville is less likely to take the perfectly good train, and will drive. It will mostly be on the Westcobbex, but 5 or so km each end will further clog the local roads – not releive them. Similarly a yummy mummy in the eastern suburbs without a westconnex provioded at $XX billion will get the bus the the great new deli in haberfield – or will shop locally.

    If we can get these trips off the road by better public transport/localism/regulation then there will be plenty of space fopr Ray’s tradies and port traffic – and the (IMHO mythical) trips from north to south across Sydney but not starting or ending there can bypass further out.

    The really important point to to grasp that we are talking about trips – and not endless flows around a network, and that the impacts are local. I don’t care of the cars driving down my Newtown street are heading for a traffic jam in King Street or a jammed (or even free-flowing) motorway entrance. I want fewer of them.

  24. Ray says:

    @JC – Your argument is crap. You should get over your ideological bent that everything can be solved by public transport. I agree that it is part of the solution, but you really have to acknowledge that Sydney is a car based city. It is not a European style city and never will be. We just don’t have the density to make that happen.

    Having said that, I acknowledge that we do need to increase our public transport patronage on the major transit corridors, but Sydney has a such a diverse range of trips that it cannot possibly be accommodated by public transport. A continuous, connected Motorway system, providing a bypass of the most congested urban centres is a far better option than dumping through traffic onto local streets.

    As for your comment with regard to North/South traffic, I don’t think shifting traffic to and from the North Coast and South Coast further out is a viable option. It just wouldn’t be feasible.

  25. JC says:

    Ray – if you want to continue to live with gridlock forever fine! But don’t think that more roads will mean less traffic on local streets. It won’t. It never has and never will! Sorry if that sounds ideological.

    …and I don’t think everything can be solved by public transport – closing roads, taxes, congestion charging, increasing density can all play a part in making cities better places to live.

  26. QPP says:

    Obviously providing new road capacity (especially if it’s a step change, like a new underground motorway rather than just a widening of an existing road) incites more traffic, just as new public transport systems do the same.

    That doesn’t mean road projects are always wrong though. Otherwise we’d still be living in a city with a few rough tracks. In the case of obvious missing links (like M1-M2) in a motorway network then they’re almost a no-brainer

    I don’t know if WestConnex falls into that category though. The current curtailment of the M4 is rubbish and I agree with Ray it needs to be changed. I don’t think WC is a bad scheme, but I don’t know the usage patterns of the M4 and M5 enough to comment further. It seems to deal with a serious existing problem (traffic through the Inner West) to me.

    Also agree the next most obvious issue is north-south connectivity. Either on the A3 corridor or thereabouts, and from the airport area to the Princes Highway

  27. Simon says:

    In response to Bambul´s points. I acknowledge that if you built a motorway with a companion reduction in CBD parking amenity, you may well reduce the numbers of people driving into the CBD. I wouldn’t be surprised if CBD parking in Sydney was still expanding, although they have slowed it’s growth significantly. Notice that Sydney was the only one of the five cities to have reduced PT mode share 2001-2006 or 2006-2011, which it did in the former. I put this down to the train driver shortage and reduced reliability of travelling by train. That the ALP were not voted out for that debacle including the subsequent slowing of all the Cityrail services just shows you how important the average voter thinks public transport is.

  28. JC says:

    I agree with QPP up to a point. The big problem is the inner west traffic – but it is not traffic “through” the inner west but trraffic “in” the inner west.

    Westconnex is a bad scherme in that it will import more traffic into the already congested sub-arterial and local roads and do nothing to reduce or improve the flow of traffic between different bits of the inner west.

    And until the Haberfied to St Peters bit is finished (after 2023 – if ever) it will be the current M4 “dumping on local roads” times several i.e. the M4 dump will be increased and moved east to a few km from Concord to Haberfield; and the M5 traffic will be increased and instead of being chanelled around the airport and onto the ED system will be dumped at St Peters.

    What is needed is some sensible (and cheaper) investment that channels as much through traffic away from and around the central core of the city (the greater inner west); and does as much as possible to reduce the generation of local short-distance traffic within the city.

    The first means (subject to proper analysis) things like a full motorway standard link from Port Botany to the M5/ED; an M1-M2 link; an M4-M5 link west of the central core (Chullora)- possibly even continuing on to the M2; and a south to west link from Sutherland or further south to the M5 – to complete an outer bypass to take the legendary south coast to north coast traffic. (@Ray a brief look at a map will show that this is no more of a deviation from a straight line for Sutherland to Hornsby than forcing it into the CBD.)

    The second is much harder – it probably needs some biggish investments in medium intensity public transport (LR or Busways) – but also a lot of soft invetment in pricing, frequency, ease of hoppin on and off etc etc for existing PT. The bones are already there in the inner-west, bankstown, hurstville rail lines – and long-standing planning policy that put the main office and retail developments at rail hubs – but we need to make them more use friendly for off-peak, non-CBD and non-JTW trips. We don’t need to stop the tradies and the weekly shoppers form driving – we just need to thin out the trips a bit so we can all get around quicker.

    And finally… For those that are that way inclined we don’t have to completely rule out the big projects- a redeveloped, multi-level Parramatta Road focussed on improving local accessibility, providimg public transport and higher density housiong and employment could be made to work… but westconnex is so far from that we do need to start from scratch.

  29. Ray says:

    @JC – I agree with you that a more western link from Sutherland to Hornsby for a north/south link is not that much different, but still longer, to a more direct link via an inner western route closer to the CBD. The A3 already provides that connection, but it is an arterial road and it is not to motorway standard. The A3 is already a nightmare in peak hours.

    The cost of providing a motorway standard route roughly along the corridor you have suggested would be prohibitive as it is over a long distance which would have to be mostly in tunnel. I don’t think there is any prospect of a north/south motorway standard route being constructed between the inner city and the M7.

    However, an Inner West Motorway link could take advantage of existing infrastructure (the Gladesville Bridge which was originally part of the proposed North Western Freeway to Newcastle), the proposed link between the M4 and M5 as part of WestConnex and the existing surface road reservation for the M1 (F6) link to the Southern Freeway (now Princes Motorway) at Waterfall. There would still need to be a substantial amount of tunnelling from the M1 at Wahroonga to the Gladesville Bridge, basically following the alignment of the Pacific Hwy and Lane Cove Rd to the M2, as originally proposed by consultants Evans & Peck, but the surface connection from WestConnex to Waterfall (with possibly a short tunnel through Heathcote under residential areas on the eastern side of the rail line) would have to be substantially cheaper.

    An Inner West Bypass, apart from providing the most direct motorway link between the Pacific Motorway and the Princes Motorway (M1) would take a lot of pressure off the CBD focussed Harbour Bridge and Harbour Tunnel route.

  30. Ray says:

    Further to my previous post, to provide for additional capacity on the Gladesville Bridge to accommodate a north/south motorway link, the abandoned Abbotsford Bridge link between Victoria Rd, Gladesville and Great North Rd, Abbotsford should be reinstated. This would remove a substantial amount of traffic from the Gladesville Bridge which currently travels to and from the northern side of the Parramatta River (Victoria Rd and Burns Bay Rd) and inner west destinations via Lyons Rd, Drummoyne and Five Dock. Great North Rd has an extra wide road reservation and could easily accommodate 6 lanes of traffic, at least as far as Lyons Rd. However, since it has been narrowed through Five Dock shopping centre to Parramatta Rd, this could be problematic. Nonetheless it is still an option worth investigating by providing a bypass of the shopping centre.

  31. Simon says:

    Why don’t we just run a few more buses down Victoria Rd?

  32. Ray says:

    I know you like buses Simon, but it’s a matter of how many can be accommodated and whether commuters will actually use them. Anyway, I’m talking about providing the extra capacity for through traffic, which isn’t going to go away, on a direct link between the Pacific Motorway and the Princes Motorway bypassing the CBD (Harbour Bridge and Harbour Tunnel).

  33. Simon says:

    With all due respect Ray, don’t be daft. There is no problem with accommodating more buses on Victoria Rd. George St, perhaps, but that is easily avoided.

  34. Ray says:

    Yes Simon, I’ll concede that point, but my argument is essentially about accommodating north/south through traffic, not destined for the CBD.

  35. Simon says:

    Thank God for that. I don’t really see how the M4 East fits in with supporting non-CBD traffic. Airport and Port would be the main ones, but those users would hardly be in the majority users for an M4 East.

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