Cross City Tunnel Road Changes
The Hon. JAN BURNSWOODS: My question is directed to the Minister for Roads. Will he advise the House on the latest central business district road changes?
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: This morning I announced improved access to Sydney Harbour crossings with the completion of a number of central business district [CBD] road changes associated with the Cross City Tunnel. Traffic lights have been restored at the intersection of Palmer Street and Sir John Young Crescent. They were activated this morning after this morning's peak hour. These significant road changes provide direct access to the harbour crossings. Motorists who are heading north on Palmer Street and Sir John Young Crescent are now able to continue straight on to both harbour crossings. Palmer Street has been returned to two northbound lanes only. The new traffic lights will help to manage its newly configured intersection with Sir John Young Crescent.
The traffic island on Sir John Young Crescent at the intersection of Cowper Wharf Road has been removed. That intersection has been reconfigured to restore northbound traffic access to the Cahill Expressway. Following these changes, motorists who are heading north on Palmer Street and Sir John Young Crescent are able to continue straight on to both harbour crossings. I am advised that the changes were made during four weeks of night roadworks by the Roads and Traffic Authority [RTA] to minimise inconvenience to motorists. Palmer Street between Cathedral Street and Sir John Young Crescent is now two lanes northbound. The new traffic lights at the intersection of Palmer Street and Sir John Young Crescent allow for better management of traffic flow. The traffic island at the intersection of Sir John Young Crescent and Cowper Wharf Road has been removed.
These changes are the latest in a series of road changes made by the New South Wales Government that reverse the number of road changes associated with the Cross City Tunnel. I am advised by the RTA that all the changes are expected to be in place by the end of October 2006. In June, the Premier announced that 13 CBD road changes, which were introduced as part of the Cross City Tunnel, would be reversed. That is on top of the reversal of 12 road changes announced in March that have already been completed. These road changes are consistent with the recommendations of the first report of the Cross City Tunnel inquiry.
Bourke Street has reopened to traffic at William Street. Druitt Street is now open to westbound general traffic between Kent Street and Clarence Street. There is an additional right-turn lane at Queens Cross allowing motorists to turn from Darlinghurst Road northbound into Kings Cross Road eastbound. With these changes now in place, the RTA is now finalising the designs for the next road reversals to provide an additional general traffic lane eastbound along William Street and east of Palmer Street and to reinstall the second right turn from the Cahill Expressway's off ramp to Cowper Wharf Road. The majority of the construction works will be completed at night when traffic volumes are lightest. The New South Wales Government is committed to getting a better deal for motorists by improving access in and around the city and by working through the various clauses of the Cross City Tunnel contract.