The City of Sydney is calling on the NSW government to halt construction of the M5 tunnel and to change the business case and design of the Stage 3 section of the M4–M5 link.

Furthermore, a City of Sydney review found the state government could save up to $6-billion by scrapping plans for WestConnex Stage 3 and avoid disrupting local communities by decreasing car use and properly connecting freight movements to and from Port Botany.

According to the review, the proposed WestConnex interchange next to Sydney Park at St Peters will add 60,000 vehicles a day onto local roads and a seven-lane freeway all the way to Moore Park that is set to create a massive intersection at Anzac Parade that will be 300m long and 12 or more lanes wide.

“The City of Sydney has called on the NSW Government to scrap the WestConnex Stage 3 M4-M5 connection between Rozelle and the St Peters Interchange and replace it with an alternative, integrated transport strategy,” says a spokesperson.

“The Lord Mayor met with the NSW Premier in May to outline the City’s concerns and present a series of alternatives for the government’s consideration.”

“Unfortunately,” says the spokesperson, “the government did not respond, but then released the design for Stage 3 shortly afterwards, followed by an announcement about Stages 4 and 5 of the project. “

“The City will continue to advocate strongly for a number of changes to Stage 3 that would reduce the impact of the project on local communities and taxpayers while still achieving its original aims,” the spokesperson says.

Some residents have been warned by the NSW government to keep their windows sealed to protect themselves during the construction phase.

“The City urges the NSW Government to prioritise investment in public transport rather than spending billions in public funds on more motorways that will increase traffic and leave taxpayers with billions of dollars of debt for generations to come.”

To make matters worse, the City’s review found that to absorb all this extra traffic, clearways will be needed on side streets and the state government will need to create a whole network of new junctions, tunnels and local road upgrades over the next decade.