HOXTON PARK ROAD VEHICLE NOISE
(Liverpool) [5.50 p.m.]: I draw to the attention of the House two matters of considerable concern to many of my constituents in the Hinchinbrook and Hoxton Park area. The first problem relates to the noise of vehicles travelling along Cowpasture Road, especially in the area to the north of its intersection with Hoxton Park Road and Fifteenth Avenue. The noise from vehicles on Cowpasture Road is a particular problem for residents in a part of Hinchinbrook: those residents who live on the eastern side of Cowpasture Road and whose properties back onto that road. The streets that are affected by this noise include Tingha Close and Angledool Avenue. I should acknowledge that Susana and Felix Vencio and Joey Moreno are among the residents who have spoken to me about this problem.
This stretch of Cowpasture Road is especially difficult. The problem is most acute, naturally enough, with trucks - the larger the vehicle, the more likely the problem. The problems are exacerbated in that area because trucks slow down to enter the intersection of Cowpasture Road with Hoxton Park Road and the activation of their brakes increases the already loud noise. Conversely, trucks, having gone through the intersection, accelerate away and thus generate more noise. That is made worse because of the incline of the road at that location. The problem has been described as being worse, not unnaturally, in the morning and in the afternoon during peak periods. I have inspected the site and I am aware of the problem. I am convinced that there is a real problem in that area.
There is also a fear that, as time goes by, with traffic increasing, the problem will worsen. Generally, that would seem to be a reasonable apprehension. The fear would be even greater, however, if Cowpasture Road were widened, as that would not only increase the volume of traffic and thus the noise generated by it; it would most likely move the road even closer to the back fences of residents concerned. My constituents have requested that sound barriers be installed to alleviate this problem, with walls located between the rear of the residences concerned and Cowpasture Road. My constituents have pointed out that other parts of Sydney have benefited from the installation of such sound barriers, some of them I suspect in locations far less deserving than this location. My constituents have pointed out an instance in which I believe that is not the case - I believe that the sound barriers are justified.
They have also pointed out to me that the four kilometres of noise barriers along the Hume Highway protect residents of St Andrews and Woodbine. I ask the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads to look seriously at those concerns. Another issue raised by my constituents is the continuation of Hoxton Park Road from the intersection that I have just described, where there is considerable traffic congestion. That is especially and obviously the case in morning and afternoon peak periods. The long-term future of Hoxton Park Road was the subject of a previous private member’s statement which I made in May 1996. The problems have worsened since that time.
Two years ago I was advised that the road carried in excess of 28,000 vehicles a day. I would think that that estimate would have been dramatically exceeded. Hoxton Park Road is now the route along which many people travel from new release areas to the west of the Liverpool area to the Liverpool central business district to gain access to the Hume Highway, Milperra Road and the motorway. Those new release areas have been developing at a great rate. There has been and will continue to be significant residential growth in Hinchinbrook, Hoxton Park, Greenway Park and other neighbouring suburbs. A short time ago the Roads and Traffic Authority provided substantial funding to upgrade the intersection of Copeland Street, the name by which the Hume Highway is known, and Hoxton Park Road. That enables right-hand turns into and out of that intersection. That has resulted in people believing it is a great idea, using the intersection and Hoxton Park Road and exacerbating the traffic congestion problem.
At the moment in peak periods, in the morning and the afternoon of each weekday, Hoxton Park often resembles a large parking lot. The traffic congestion is acute. Many constituents, including the constituents I have already mentioned, have expressed concerns to me about this matter and, as I have said, I have inspected the problem. The road is a regional road controlled by Liverpool council. The
problem seems to be sufficiently severe to justify a greater RTA funding involvement than has hitherto occurred. One of the most useful immediate steps would be to try to deal with the bottlenecks that currently exist on Hoxton Park Road. The most obvious and notorious of those bottlenecks is the bridge over Maxwells Creek near Hill Avenue. That bottleneck has been a problem for some time, but the issue is now acute because of the additional traffic to which I have already referred.
I understand that Liverpool council has recently applied to the RTA for a regional road enhancement grant. The purpose of that grant, which will be on a dollar-for-dollar basis between the RTA and Liverpool council, will be to duplicate the existing bridge. That will dramatically improve current traffic conditions. I urge the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads to support the granting of that application for bridge duplication. I ask the Minister to more broadly consider long-term solutions with greater RTA involvement in solving those problems.