(Volumes Heavy Vehicles 2011- 500 1,250 2,500 vehicles per day and 2031 – 2,000 3,000 4,000 vehicles per day projection)

UPDATE 6/9/12:  Note the authors of the Draft Plan not even aware that the funding for Port Botany came from Sydney Ports (around$700 million) with the rest from stevedores and nothing from the Australian Government.   Ports were allowed a ‘dividend holiday’ !

“7.2 Investment in Infrastructure.   The NSW Government is investing in new infrastructure to deliver greater capacity across the freight transport network. Improvements across existing road and rail networks will also unlock greater capacity and performance to meet increasing demands over the next twenty years: · $1 billion investment in establishing the third container terminal at Port Botany, which includes an 80 percent contribution from the Australian Government”

“The Port Botany precinct is home to four of Sydney’s five most congested roads. Congestion lasts 11 hours or more each day on all four routes”(p.265). Note that in the report authors downplay the impact of Heavy Vehicles and suggest that there should be a greater use of public transport by airport users.  Firstly, the full impact of heavy vehicles is not provided as PCU factors have not been incorporated.  The PCU factor for westbound HV in the M5 is 6.  The ‘normal’ factor is 3.  But even so these are conservative figures.  We have all experienced the long heavy vehicles (equivalent of 3 TEU capacity) holding up lanes of traffic in all directions as they negotiate corners. The impact is far above that of 3 passenger vehicles.  Secondly, emission figures have not been stated – see most recent report– . Thirdly, Light Commerical Trucks are also port related traffic as the SEPP encourages allied industries in the area. But whereas LCT are usually shown with Heavy Vehicles in NTC(National Transport Commission) reports in this one they are not.  Finally, they don’t examine why it is not feasible for most drivers to use public transport to the airport, eg. workers on late and early shifts, luggage to be transported.  It was a poor decision to build the Port next to a growing airport, why don’t the government admit it.

“If growth on freight networks is not managed and future networks are not well planned,increases in freight volumes will adversely impact on the natural and built environment,particularly in the context of increased emissions and noise pollution. This will reinforce negative community views and perceptions about freight, potentially driving a less efficient outcome for all”(p.266).

The Inland Rail Route is identified as a long-term project:

“The Inland Rail Route is a national project consisting of an inland route from Victoria, through the central and north west of NSW and then into Queensland. This rail project will increase the capacity of freight rail paths between Melbourne and Brisbane and free up capacity on the coastal rail route through Sydney. We will continue to work with the Australian Government to support the development of this project. The proposed inland railway comprises a 1,731 km alignment between South Dynon in Melbourne and Acacia Ridge in Brisbane. Within NSW, the rail line would pass through the towns of Albury, Parkes, Narrabri, Moree and Toowoomba”(p.276)

“Freight volumes are forecast to grow rapidly across the State. To efficiently manage this transport task and reduce congestion, we will develop a project pipeline to support network capacity and pilot high productivity vehicle access on the Hume Highway, with an access charge arrangement to fund safety and other upgrades on the Highway. We will also invest in rail freight infrastructure enhancements to increase the share of freight carried on the rail network, including fostering the development of a metropolitan intermodal terminal network. To promote efficient supply chains we will introduce port growth plans and improve performance management, coordination and reporting. And we will implement an action plan for Port Botany that includes a new Container Management Coordinator, targeted works to address traffic pinch points and measures to improve public transport to reduce road congestion”. (p.11 Executive Summary)  They could also include measures to make it easier to cycle and walk around the precinct.

Link to the Website

Comments to masterplan@transport.nsw.gov.au  close on 26 October 2012. The final Master Plan will be released in late 2012.  

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