Policy responses to roads congestion are contentious, multi-faceted and can
target either supply or demand side improvements. For example, enabling a shift
from private vehicles to public transport is a policy response aimed at
reducing demand on the roads network. However, even with such a transport mode
shift, forecasts from the Bureau of Transport Statistics indicate that private
motor vehicle usage will continue to be the dominant transport option for the
foreseeable future in Sydney.
The network and public transport policy assumptions that feed into these
forecasts are of course the subject of political debate. It should be
emphasised that, while this is fully acknowledged, it is beyond the scope of
this paper to examine those assumptions and to present a critical commentary on
Based on Bureau of Transport Statistics forecasts, the NSW Coalition
Government’s preferred response to congestion, initially outlined in the
2012 State Infrastructure Strategy, is targeted primarily toward
supply-side road network improvements. Additional supply-side measures,
outlined in the State Infrastructure Strategy Update, will be funded by
the partial lease of NSW electricity networks.
From this supply-side perspective, restoring Sydney’s mobility
presents “two seemingly simple, yet interlinked options”: making
better use of existing road space (Chapter 6) and the construction of
additional capacity (Chapter 7). This paper outlines, with respect to these two
options, the recent capital programs and targeted road strategies implemented
by the NSW Government to address congestion on the Sydney roads network.
As a preface to this discussion, this paper provides a brief overview of
Sydney’s road network, as well as an outline of the administrative and
funding arrangements related to NSW roads more generally.