15 Sep Warning more trucks will be forced onto local roads in Sydn…
But the freight groups say a decision by the state’s roads agency to since remove ramps from the project design due to the cost – estimated at about $100 million – was “short sighted”.
“We believe this … significantly diminishes the potential freight benefits of the gateway project by contributing to gridlock on local roads,” Australian Logistics Council chief Kirk Coningham said.
Mr Coningham said the absence of ramps would isolate the freight hub and “condemn local Mascot residents to ongoing truck noise, safety and emission issues”. About 30 per cent of containers loaded and off loaded at Port Botany each year pass through the Cooks River terminal.
The gateway project is slated for completion in 2023 at a cost to taxpayers of $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion. It is a separate project to the $16.8 billion WestConnex motorway but is needed if the latter is to meet one of its original aims of connecting Sydney Airport and Port Botany to western Sydney.
The transport agency said access ramps onto and off Canal Road for cars and trucks were considered in early concept designs for the project but traffic modelling showed the benefits were “very low” given the estimated cost of building and acquiring additional land.
“Based on these studies, a decision was made not to progress with the Canal Road ramps and these are not part of the scope for Sydney Gateway,” Transport for NSW said.
While the motorway ramps at Canal Road were not part of the gateway project, the agency said its design would not preclude them being incorporated at a “later date”. However, it said any future plans to build them would require a “separate business case with funding”.