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    City of Sydney calls for overhaul of WestConnex

    Nicholas Rider

    The City of Sydney has put forward an alternative proposal to the WestConnex project.

    Based on the original design for the toll motorway project, the alternative proposal offers a direct route to Port Botany and the airport for drivers in Sydney’s west. The City of Sydney claims this alternative model will reduce congestion and remove the need for expensive tolls, while saving NSW taxpayers billions of dollars.

    “The government promised to deliver a direct route to [Port Botany] and to reduce congestion,” says Sydney’s lord mayor, Clover Moore.

    “What they’re delivering is a road that dumps freight at St Peters seven kilometres away from Port Botany and makes tens of thousands of cars compete on already congested roads like the Anzac Bridge, the Western Distributor and within the CBD.

    “Under this government WestConnex has become a road to gridlock.”

    Moore also says the costs of the current project have grown from $10 billion to $17 billion. Additionally, the council has identified $28.5 billion worth of extra costs, which brings the total estimated cost to $45.3 billion.

    The City of Sydney’s proposal calls on the government to:

    • Upgrade the A3 connector between the M4 at Homebush and the M5 at Beverly Hills
    • Reduce demand for roads by improving public transport and bringing forward Sydney Metro projects
    • Remove station access fees at airport line stations
    • Reduce unnecessary demand for the existing M5 by removing the ‘cash back’ during peak times
    • Bring forward the Western Sydney Airport and immediately connect it to public transport
    • Realign the new M5 south to Port Botany and Sydney Airport, which will eliminate the need for the Sydney Gateway overland connection
    • Connect the new M5 to the Eastern Distributor
    • Scrap the St Peters interchange and sell the land for much needed housing close to the city

    “Our plan shows a way forward that saves billions of dollars [that] can be better spent improving public transport in western Sydney – 90 percent of people travelling to the city from the west are on public transport – and it achieves better freight travel times from the west and southwest to the airport and Port Botany,” says Moore.

    “With stage two only about 30 percent complete, and the third stage still in planning, the government needs to press pause now.”

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