Author: Cie'Jai Leggett Date: 03 October 2012
The Infrastructure NSW's proposed WestConnex Motorway will go a long way to solving Sydney's chronic congestion problems and improve public transport in Sydney's west.
The $10 billion proposal, which includes finishing the M4 Motorway and duplicating the M5 East Tunnel, will vastly improve travel times in Sydney's west and south-west and offer more public transport solutions through a revitalised Parramatta Road.
NRMA Motoring & Services President Wendy Machin said the NRMA had been fighting hard for both the M4 Extension and M5 East Tunnel duplication over the last few years.
"If WestConnex is built it will help transform the way our city moves and represent an enormous win for our Members in Sydney's west and south-west," Ms Machin said.
"The NRMA has fought hard to get these projects off the ground because we know how important they are to our Members. Thousands of motorists flagged both the M5 East Tunnel and Parramatta Road among the worst roads in NRMA's Seeing Red on Roads surveys in 2011 and 2012.
"There are clear benefits to motorists through the considerable travel times that will be saved along the M4 Extension and M5 Tunnel routes, better freight access to Port Botany and the opportunities to vastly improve public transport access along Parramatta Road.
"Since 1947 there have been government plans to build a motorway that connects the mountains to the city – it's time we got on with the job.
"What is important for a project this size is that the NSW Government gets the planning right, involve the community in the consultation process and ensure WestConnex delivers value for money to the motorists who use it."
In the lead-up to the 2011 NSW Election the NRMA released a comprehensive report into how the Government could build and fund the M4 Extension to the city using a value-capture model along Parramatta Road.
"If the NSW Government chooses to adopt the Infrastructure NSW recommendation it will need to consider ways to raise the necessary funds to help build the project, alongside the Commonwealth Government and private sector," Ms Machin said.
"We encourage the Government to consider the formula proposed by the NRMA in our M4 Report, which identifies revenue streams through revitalising and rezoning sections of Parramatta Road, to help fund the project.
"This will help keep whatever tolls are placed on WestConnex as low as possible and ensure it delivers real value for money to the motorists who use it."