Coalition transport priorities

21 March 2011

The NSW Coalition has announced plans to “fast track” the widening of the M5, and re-affirmed other previously announced transport priorities.


Mr O’Farrell’s program includes:


  • completing negotiations with the private road operator to widen the M5 to six lanes between Camden Valley Way and King Georges Road;
  • building the South West and North West rail links;
  • spending $200 million to upgrade local road blackspots, particularly in Western Sydney;
  • introducing 135 new express train services a week; and
  • improving bus services with loop shuttles in Parramatta and Penrith.

“I want to encourage as many people as possible out of their cars and on to public transport,” Mr O’Farrell said.


Mr O’Farrell said the M5 was running to capacity and needed widening from four to six lanes to stop travel times blowing out even further.


“Widening the M5 from Camden Valley Way to King Georges Road will cut travel times by up to seven minutes, increase average speeds by over 10km/h and help us make a start to easing the pain suffered by motorists each day,” he said.


The widening of the M5 is expected to cost around $350 million and take two years to complete. The term of the contract with the operator will be extended but there will be no increase in car tolls as a result of the agreement.


The Coalition also promised to commence a major “missing link” road project. Infrastructure NSW would identify the project from a list of:


  • the M4 East link between Strathfield and the Anzac Bridge;
  • the M2 to F3 connection;
  • M5 corridor improvements;
  • the extension of the F6 motorway from the southern suburbs to General Holmes Drive; or
  • the inner west bypass which would provide a tunnel connecting the M4 to Sydney Airport and Port Botany.

With the appropriate project to be identified by a new government agency “Infrastructure NSW”.


“All these projects are important and while they cannot all be funded in the short term, we will ensure significant progress is made on one of the missing links in our first term in office,” Mr O’Farrell said.


More detail is available here.


Some specific details on the Coalition’s promises for Western Sydney roads are here.


Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says coalition plans to expand Sydney’s M5 motorway are “bizarre” and will only create more problems. A report of his comments is here.