Industry welcomes NSW project

The bus industry is welcoming a project to reduce traffic congestion on one of NSW’s main roads

The New South Wales bus industry is welcoming a proposal from the State Government to reduce congestion on Parramatta Road. 

The community has been asked to provide comment and feedback on proposed plans to reinvent one of Sydney’s most infamously congested road corridors.

The draft Parramatta Road Urban Renewal Strategy includes proposals on how critically important land will be used and on transport options for the corridor.

The project is called New Parramatta Road, and is made possible by the New South Wales Government’s commitment to the WestConnex project.

The New South Wales Government is focused on improving supply of homes near jobs, and near public transport and other infrastructure, according to a statement released by New South Wales Minister for Planning Pru Goward.

The Parramatta Road corridor extends from Sydney’s CBD to Parramatta across ten local government areas.

The statement also says the long term urban transformation program will better connect these communities.

The WestConnex project will change traffic volumes on the road and provide an alternative route for trucks and heavy vehicles, which in turn will enable the improvement of public transport and bring new life to under-used and dilapidated areas of the corridor.

It will increase the quantity and diversity of housing, provide more transport choices, grow the number of job opportunities in Western Sydney and make neighbourhoods in the corridor better places to live.

More detailed transport planning is also underway to support the strategy and will be completed in 2015.

BusNSW Executive Director Darryl Mellish understands the construction of WestConnex - not due for completion until 2019 - will free up Parramatta Road for public transport and local commuters.

"This should lead to less congestion on a road corridor that is currently a mixed heavy vehicle and commuter thoroughfare, which is often at a standstill," he says.

"The industry welcomes the government initiative that will help to relieve congestion, particularly for public transport.

"However, as always with these proposals, the devil is in the detail and we note that the next stage of the Urban Renewal Strategy will be to ‘review and implement public transport to improve services to meet the growing demand in the corridor over time."

Mellish says BusNSW will contact NSW UrbanGrowth to ensure the industry is involved in this next stage of planning.

"There is a lot of evidence supporting transport orientated design and improving integrated bus networks make sense on economic, social and environmental grounds," he says.

"It will also be interesting to see if the NSW Government owned bus operator who is currently the main bus user of Parramatta road will be subject to a competitive tender process as a further method of the NSW government to expand services."

The draft strategy was developed following interactive workshops with councils, members of the community and technical specialists, major studies of the corridor, briefings to local MPs and more than 150 meetings with councils and other stakeholders.

New South Wales Minister for Planning Pru Goward says the 20-year urban transformation of Parramatta Road will help create up to 50,000 jobs and 50,000 new homes.

"I encourage everyone to play a part in shaping the future of these neighbourhoods by taking a look at the draft strategy from tomorrow, and giving us feedback."

Goward says Sydney needs to be ready for the future and the Parramatta Road corridor has the potential to be a truly exciting gateway to the west.

"Successive governments have done nothing to fix the blight that is Parramatta Road. Thanks to the NSW Government’s commitment to the WestConnex project, we now have the opportunity to take action on this important strategic corridor," she says.

Community feedback will be used to develop a detailed proposal which will be released for another round of public feedback in 2015.

Public are able to comment on the draft strategy until February 12, 2015.

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