Submission: Sydney Gateway Road Project

The proposed Sydney Gateway Project currently has 2 consultations out now, due to the state and federal components of the project.

Today is the last day to submit comment on State Government component – the Sydney Gateway Road Project Environmental Impact Statement.

We encourage WalkSydney supporters to take a few minutes today to submit comments (select Object to the project, or just provide comments) expressing the importance of safe, easy and pleasant walking conditions from this major project.

Below is our submission:

WalkSydney is a community group advocating for walking. We want to see coordinated and committed action to make walking in Sydney safer, easier and more pleasant and major road projects like Sydney Gateway provide a ready opportunity to do this.

The NSW Government has consistently failed to provide important active transport links with major infrastructure projects and in some cases the projects will ultimately worsen walking conditions for the local community, such as WestConnex at Victoria Road in Rozelle where the walk to local bus stops will be lengthened significantly with the removal of existing overhead walkways. Sydney Gateway needs to be a total transport solution providing opportunities for healthy transport choices for Sydney Airport staff and other commuters moving through the area.

WalkSydney asks that the following points be incorporated into the design and/or approval:

  1. Sydney Gateway aims to meet the forecast growth to access Sydney Airport and to do this the proposed shared path beside the canal needs to cater for future growth in active transport by providing path widths of at least 6 metres and with physical separation between people walking and cycling. The paths need to provide safety and amenity for people walking and cycling with the installation of lighting, landscaping and CCTV.
  2. Pedestrian crossings must be provided on all approaches of all proposed signalised intersections as specified by Part 2.4 of Section 2 (Warrants) of the Traffic Signal Design guide. Failure to again implement this policy would impose unacceptably long time and distance costs on your walking customers in this location.
  3. The proposal to carry out future road maintenance with closure of the canal path is unacceptable. Road maintenance can take place without notice and for extended periods of time potentially resulting in lengthy diversions for people walking and cycling. Driving is an undemanding transport option, the impact of diversions on drivers is negligible by comparison with people walking, and ongoing road maintenance needs to be carried out without closure of the canal path.
  4. Too often construction of these major infrastructure projects requires people to walk significantly longer distances resulting enormous delays and unmanageable distances. For example, the contractor of the WestConnex Rozelle Interchange is currently proposing extremely long diversions for people
    walking and cycling and has repeatedly rejected requests from the community to provide more direct routes throughout the three-year construction period. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has approved documents which fail to identify the temporary walking and cycling routes
    and which defer to documents that are not specified by the consent and may ever eventuate.

To overcome this with Sydney Gateway, the conditions of consent associated with the active transport links during construction must specify the provision of routes which are consistent in travel time and distance with the existing routes. Parties preparing bids for construction of the project must be required to budget for temporary access routes which are safe, direct, with maximum gradients of 5 per cent and consistent in travel time and distance with the existing routes.

The federal government Major Development Plan (MDP) component consultation remains open until 21 Feb 2020.