M5 Widening Project
M5 WIDENING PROJECT
The Hon. DUNCAN GAY:
On 14 June 2011 the Hon. Penny Sharpe asked a supplementary question regarding the M5 motorway. I provide the following supplementary answer:
Questions without notice concluded.
Pursuant to resolution business interrupted to permit an address to the House by Magistrate Jennifer Betts.
I can advise that the private operator of the M5 West, Interlink roads, submitted a proposal to the RTA to widen the motorway from four lanes to six lanes in each direction between King Georges Road and Camden Valley Way in September 2009.
The proposal has been developed by Interlink Roads and the RTA to enable a detailed environmental assessment to be completed, which was publicly exhibited during September and October last year.
Following consideration of the public submissions, a preferred project report was recently exhibited in May. Further submissions were invited and are currently being considered by the Department of Planning & Infrastructure.
The environmental assessment not only considers any environmental impacts of the project, but also examines the need and justification for the M5 West Widening proposal.
The proposal fits the longer term strategy to expand the capacity of the M5 corridor, including the M5 East and the Tunnel.
Infrastructure NSW will be considering the priority of the M5 East Expansion shortly, along with other major projects to expand the Sydney motorway network.
Although the M5 West Widening project is justifiable as a stand alone project, the traffic performance and environmental impacts have been assessed taking into account the potential traffic scenario with an expanded M5 East, including the tunnel.
The M5 West Widening is designed to provide transport benefits, including travel time savings, fuel savings, improved reliability and improved safety to freight, commercial and passenger vehicles on a stretch of motorway which is increasingly at or near capacity for longer periods of the day.
Traffic modelling indicates that if the M5 West Widening project was not implemented, the travel time between Raby Road near Campbelltown and King Georges Road will deteriorate substantially. However, if the M5 Widening project is implemented, there will be significant travel time savings, compared with the do nothing scenario, in the order of six minutes in the eastbound peak period and a saving of about 12 minutes in the westbound peak period.