The City of Sydney has put forward an alternative proposal for the controversial $17 billion WestConnex tollway project.
Based on the original design for the motorway project, the alternative proposal offers a more direct motorway route to Port Botany and Sydney Airport for traffic from the west of the city.
The City of Sydney claims this alternative model will reduce congestion and remove the need for expensive tolls, while saving the NSW taxpayers billions of dollars.
"The government promised to deliver a direct route to [Port Botany] and to reduce congestion," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said."What they are 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.
"Our plan shows a way forward that saves billions of dollars [that] can be better spent improving public transport in western Sydney — 90% of people travelling to the city from the west are on public transport — and it achieves better freight travel times from the west and south-west to the airport and Port Botany.”
The plan includes proposals to upgrade the A3 connector between the M4 at Homebush and the M5 at Beverly Hills; realign the new M5 motorway south to Port Botany and Sydney Airport, which would eliminate the need for the Sydney Gateway overland connection; connect the new M5 to the Eastern Distributor; and scrap the St Peters Interchange.
While the city council proposal needs further detailed analysis, it does show that there are alternative, more environmentally and socially sustainable options for solutions to Sydney's urgent transport needs, in particular a radical reorientation from private vehicles to public transport.
A couple of immediate concerns with the City of Sydney plan include the apparent acceptance of a privatised Metro railway scheme; the assumption that the new Western Sydney Airport is necessary; agreement that the M4 East to Haberfield is needed; and the proposal to sell the land compulsorily acquired for the St Peters Interchange to private developers rather than for public housing.