Council calls for fundamental redesigns of WestConnex

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Administrator of Inner West Council Richard Pearson today released Council’s detailed expert submission to the State Government on the Stage 3 concept design for WestConnex calling for it to be redesigned to deal with traffic impacts on the area.

“Council is totally opposed to WestConnex - but if the Government is determined to go ahead with the motorway it needs to seriously consider the solutions being put forward by Council to try and mitigate the impact it will have on our area,” Mr Pearson said.

“The Government should construct the main Stage 3 tunnel between Haberfield and the M5 as without this link residents around the Haberfield and St Peters interchange sites will suffer unacceptable operational traffic impacts.

“However, a more direct connection to Sydney Airport and Port Botany should be found and a simplified connection to the main Stage 3 tunnel provided at the St Peters Interchange location.

“This would provide a better connection between the Airport and Port, reduce inner-urban traffic impacts, reduce project costs and allow the St Peters Interchange site to be put to a more productive use.

“The Rozelle Interchange surface connections to Anzac Bridge, Johnston Street and The Crescent should also be removed.

“The motorway should connect the main Stage 3 tunnel to Victoria Road via the Iron Cove Link and Western Harbour Tunnel if built - but not to City West Link / Anzac Bridge or to Johnstone Street / The Crescent, converting the Rozelle Interchange to a simplified junction below the surface.

“Anzac Bridge is already at capacity and with much of the northbound traffic on WestConnex not heading into the City, there seems little point in further congesting this artery.

“While this will reduce local access to WestConnex, it will also substantially reduce local traffic and amenity impacts and construction costs.”

In addition, the Government should:

• Proceed with the Iron Cove Link (connecting the main Stage 3 tunnel to Victoria Road via the Iron Cove Link tunnel) and improve the amenity, active transport and public transport along that section of Victoria Road
• Minimise traffic impacts on all local roads through processes such as Council’s Local Area Traffic Improvement Strategy
• Improve all surface roads where traffic has been reduced by WestConnex and capitalise on opportunities for amenity and public transport improvements on all roads where traffic has been reduced including track-free trams along Parramatta Road
• Extend dedicated bus lanes across Anzac Bridge
• Proceed with the Rozelle Rail Yards recreation area and convert the Rozelle Rail Yards (RRY) site to parkland
• Implement other traffic demand-management measures to reduce traffic growth and the need for extra road capacity

Mr Pearson said should Stage 3 proceed according to the Concept Design there were a number of significant issues which would need to be resolved in the EIS.

He said these issues would need to be resolved or managed by design changes and conditions of approval so that impacts on the local community are minimised and opportunities created for beneficial outcomes wherever possible.

The main issues raised in Council’s submission to address local road issues include:

• Air quality and visual impacts from ventilation facilities proposed for the RRY site and Victoria Road near Terry Street especially given its proximity to densely developed residential areas
• Concerns about the full range of construction impacts including traffic, parking, noise and dust around all Stage 3 construction sites
• Concerns about safety, noise, dust and traffic impacts from the mid-tunnel construction dive-sites proposed for Darley Road, Leichhardt and Bridge Road / Parramatta Road, Annandale
• Opposition to the Darley Road and Bridge Road dive sites, with a preference for no dive sites, or a potentially lower-impact dive site option at the western end of the Rozelle Rail Yards (RRY) site
• Concerns about continued use of existing Stage 1 works compounds at Haberfield for Stage 3, resulting in an extension of construction impacts as Haberfield residents have already endured significant impacts from the construction of Stage 1
• The noise, safety and amenity impacts from truck stabling on streets, and consequently a requirement that off-street stabling areas be provided
• The impact of construction and operational traffic around the Rozelle Interchange and consequences for residential amenity, pedestrian and cyclist safety and parking demand
• Operational traffic impacts on Anzac Bridge and The Crescent (especially the Rozelle Interchange feeding additional traffic onto the already congested Anzac Bridge and onto The Crescent and Johnstone Street)
• The impact of compulsory acquisitions on residents and businesses along a section of Victoria Road at Rozelle required for construction of the Stage 3 traffic portal onto Victoria Road
• The need for a stronger commitment to surface road improvements including traffic capacity reductions, enhanced public domain and public transport improvements wherever traffic is reduced by WestConnex in particular, along Victoria Road and Parramatta Road
• The need to provide the Rozelle Rail Yards recreation area to Council at no cost and fully embellished and to further improve walk and cycle connectivity across the site
• The impact of clean-up of the Rozelle Rail Yards site on heritage and biodiversity and the lack of consideration of the retention of rail heritage features in-situ and staging of site clearing to minimise biodiversity impacts
• Concerns that the construction of WestConnex Stage 3 and the Western Harbour Tunnel (if built) may hamper implementation of Western Metro (rail) and sever future light rail links, such as the White Bay / Balmain link

Mr Pearson said he remained extremely concerned by the lack of detail contained in the Concept Design. For this reason council does not have a formal position on the related Western Harbour Tunnel at this time as insufficient detail is currently available.

He said it was imperative the State Government did not release an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before they properly assessed all the issues raised by Council and the community with the Concept Design.

The full submission is available on Council’s website at: http://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/news---hot-topics/hot-topics/westconnex/westconnex-stage-3-camperdown-rozelle-annandale

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