Traffic and transport: WestConnex M4 East Environmental Impact Statement

WestConnex M4 East Environmental Impact Statement

September 2015

Prepared for WestConnex Delivery Authority
Prepared by AECOM Australia Pty Ltd, GHD Pty Ltd

8. Traffic and transport

This chapter outlines the potential traffic and transport impacts associated with the M4 East project (the project).

A detailed traffic and transport assessment has been undertaken for the project and is included in Appendix G.

The Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment has issued a set of environmental assessment requirements for the project; these are referred to as Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs). Table 8.1 sets out these requirements as they relate to traffic and transport, and identifies where they have been addressed in this environmental impact statement (EIS).

Table 8.1 Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements – traffic and transport
Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirement Where addressed in the EIS
Details of how the following meet the traffic and transport objectives of the project, taking into account adjacent sensitive land uses, future growth areas, approved and proposed infrastructure projects, and traffic (vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian) needs:

  • The preferred alignment and design
  • The proposed interchanges and connections to the surrounding road network
  • Associated road infrastructure facilities
Section 8.4
An assessment and modelling of operational traffic and transport impacts on the local and regional road network (including Parramatta Road, Queens Road, Gipps Street, and other arterials), and the Sydney motorway network Section 8.4
Induced traffic and operational implications for public transport (particularly with respect to strategic bus corridors and bus routes) and consideration of opportunities to improve public transport patronage Section 8.1 and 8.4.2
Impacts on cyclists and pedestrian access and safety and consideration of opportunities to integrate cycleway and pedestrian elements with surrounding networks Section 8.4.3
Construction traffic and transport impacts of the project (including ancillary facilities) and associated management measures, in particular:

  • Impacts to the road network (including safety and level of service, pedestrian and cyclist access, and disruption to public transport services and access to properties)
  • Route identification and scheduling of transport movements
  • The number, frequency and size of construction related vehicles (both passenger, commercial and heavy vehicles)
  • The nature of existing traffic on construction access routes (including consideration of peak traffic times)
  • The need to close, divert or otherwise reconfigure elements of the road network associated with construction of the project having reference to the cumulative construction impacts of other infrastructure preparing for or commencing construction
Details of how the project meets the objectives of the overall WestConnex Scheme. Section 8.4.4

8.1 Assessment methodology

An integrated traffic modelling and forecasting approach was adopted for the traffic assessment for the project. This approach involved:

  • Reviewing existing conditions along the Parramatta Road corridor
  • Determining existing and future intersection and roadway traffic volumes
  • Assessing potential construction impacts
  • Assessing potential operational impacts of the project on the existing and future road network using LinSig, which is an intersection modelling platform that is capable of assessing the performance of isolated or coordinated networks of signalised intersections
  • Recommending measures to mitigate and manage the traffic and transport impacts of the project during construction and operation.

A summary of the main tasks involved in the assessment is provided in sections 8.1.1 to 8.1.4. A detailed description of the methodology is provided in Appendix G.

8.1.1 Determine existing and future traffic volumes

Existing and future year intersection and roadway traffic volumes were calculated using outputs from the WestConnex Road Traffic Model (WRTM) Version 2.1, with a particular focus on the project area between Homebush Bay Drive at Homebush and Balmain Road at Leichhardt, and including the predicted transfer of principal and induced travel demand to the project from alternative transport corridors.

The following six key scenarios were modelled using the WRTM to provide morning (AM) peak and afternoon (PM) peak roadway and intersection turning volumes:

  • Existing case (2012) – current road network with no new projects or upgrades
  • Construction ‘do minimum’ (2017) – current road network with the inclusion of the completed M4 Widening project
  • Operation ‘do minimum’ (2021) – assumes that the King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade and the M4 Widening projects are complete, but the remaining WestConnex projects, including the M4 East, are not built. It is called ‘do minimum’ rather than ‘do nothing’ as it assumes that projects currently incomplete but scheduled for opening prior to the assessment year are operational, thus the network conditions are different to the ‘Existing case (2012)’
  • Operation ‘do something’ (2021) – as per ‘do minimum’ with the M4 East complete and open to traffic, but without any other proposed future WestConnex projects, This scenario includes provision of kerbside bus lanes on Parramatta Road between Burwood Road at Burwood and Chandos Street at Haberfield/Ashfield (however, these bus lanes do not form part of the project)
  • Operation ‘do minimum’ (2031) – a future network including the King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade and M4 Widening projects and some upgrades to the broader transport network, but does not include the project or any other proposed future WestConnex projects
  • Operation ‘do something’ (2031) – all WestConnex projects are complete, and also includes the Sydney Gateway and the Southern Extension. Bus lanes were included in this scenario as per the 2021 ‘do something’ scenario, along with an eastbound bus lane from west of Hume Highway at Ashfield to east of Sloane Street at Haberfield/Summer Hill, and a westbound bus lane from west of Norton Street at Leichhardt to Hume Highway at Ashfield (however, these bus lanes do not form part of the project).

8.1.2 Assess construction impacts

The construction impact assessment involved an assessment of anticipated construction related vehicles travelling to, from, and within the project footprint on the existing M4, Parramatta Road and local roads that would provide access to construction ancillary facilities. Based on the construction program, the fourth quarter of 2017 has been used as the assessment year for construction impacts, as this is when peak construction traffic volumes are expected.

8.1.3 Assess operational impacts

LinSig traffic models were developed to determine the operational performance of the existing and future road network during the AM and PM peak periods. The modelling included interchanges with the project intersections along Parramatta Road and the surrounding road network in the vicinity of the project.

Following the calibration of AM peak and PM peak base LinSig models, future year networks and traffic demands were developed for the five key modelling scenarios to be assessed:

  • 2017 future year construction model
  • 2021 and 2031 future year ‘do minimum’ models
  • 2021 and 2031 future year ‘do something’ models.

The objective of the ‘do minimum’ models was to provide a benchmark to compare the operational performance of the ‘do something’ scenarios against future network conditions without the project and subsequent WestConnex stages.

The operational traffic assessment also included crash analysis, travel speeds and travel time analysis, and opportunities to enhance public and active transport networks within the project area.

8.2 Existing environment

8.2.1 Route description

Figure 8.1 shows the road network in the vicinity of the project.

Parramatta Road

Parramatta Road is classified as a State Significant Road and forms a major east–west Sydney metropolitan road corridor. The road extends from the intersection of the M4 and Church Street at Granville in the west, to Broadway on the south-western outskirts of the Sydney CBD in the east. It connects to several other major east–west road corridors, including the M4.

The road varies between two and three lanes in each direction. In the eastbound direction, two lanes are provided from Homebush Bay Drive to Bedford Road at Homebush West, then three lanes to Knight Street at Homebush. Parramatta Road then narrows to two lanes to Concord Road at North Strathfield/Concord, and then widens to three lanes to Sloane Street at Haberfield. Continuing east, beyond the project area, two lanes remain after Sloane Street up until immediately after Flood Street at Leichhardt, where a bus lane is added.

In the westbound direction, two lanes are provided from Crystal Street at Petersham to Norton Street at Leichhardt, where it widens to three lanes. The road narrows to two lanes just after Liverpool Road (Hume Highway) at Ashfield, and then widens to three lanes after Dalhousie Street at Haberfield, where it continues as three lanes to the intersection with the existing M4. The approach to the M4 consists of one through lane and two right-turn lanes to the M4 westbound, which extend back to Phillip Street at Strathfield. Continuing west, the configuration increases to two lanes from Concord Road at North Strathfield/Concord to George Street at North Strathfield, followed by three lanes from George Street to Homebush Bay Drive.

Parramatta Road has a posted speed limit of 60 kilometres per hour in both directions. There are 22 signalised intersections along the 9.6 kilometre long section of the road between Centenary Drive/Homebush Bay Drive at Homebush and Orpington Street at Ashfield.

In the vicinity of the project, Parramatta Road is of local and regional importance. It provides the main route for road vehicles travelling to, from, or through the corridor. The main Parramatta Road transport corridor accommodates a mix of travel demand characteristics that range from short local trips to longer through vehicle movements. The diverse types of business along the Parramatta Road transport corridor service both the local and wider community, meaning that a number of medium distance, one way trips are generated along the corridor.

Map of Traffic study area
Figure 8.1 Existing road network within the study area

Adjacent transport corridors in the vicinity of the project, such as the Hume Highway, Wattle Street, Concord Road and the M4, connect Parramatta Road to major centres across the Sydney metropolitan area.

Parramatta Road currently accommodates high levels of demand to and from the M4, but functions as an arterial roadway, generally favouring through movements.

M4 Motorway

The M4 extends between the Blue Mountains at its western end and Parramatta Road at Concord at its eastern end. The M4 and Parramatta Road transport corridor is the main road freight, commercial and passenger route between the Sydney CBD, the inner-western suburbs, Parramatta, greater western Sydney and beyond to the Blue Mountains.

The M4 varies from two to four lanes in each direction, with on-ramps merging with the mainline carriageways in some locations resulting in operational constraints. East of Homebush Bay Drive, the posted speed limit varies between 60 and 90 kilometres per hour in each direction.

Work on the M4 Widening project began in March 2015. This project involves widening the M4 between Pitt Street at Parramatta and Homebush Bay Drive at Homebush, to include generally four lanes in each direction. The M4 Widening project also includes a new access from Hill Road to the M4 eastbound and a new on-ramp southbound from Homebush Bay Drive to the M4 westbound.

East–west routes

Alternative east–west arterial roads located in the vicinity of the project include:

  • Frederick Street/Wattle Street/Dobroyd Parade/City West Link – this route, which is about 2.8 kilometres long, is a major connector between Sydney’s western and south-western suburbs and the Sydney CBD. It carries high volumes of traffic and provides an alternative route to Parramatta Road into Sydney CBD from inner-southern and inner-western Sydney
  • Queens Road/Gipps Street/Patterson Street – this route extends about 3.4 kilometres from its intersection with Great North Road and Fairlight Street at Five Dock in the east, to Concord Road at Concord in the west. It provides an alternative route between Five Dock and Concord/M4 and serves a significant number of local businesses
  • Hume Highway/Liverpool Road – this route, located to the south of Parramatta Road, is classified as a State Significant Road and provides an important metropolitan connection for both local and regional traffic. It extends from Liverpool in south-western Sydney, to join Parramatta Road near Summer Hill in the east, about 450 metres south-east of the project.
North–south routes

Key north–south arterial roads within the study area include:

  • Homebush Bay Drive/Centenary Drive – this route extends about 6.5 kilometres between the northern Concord Road intersection at Rhodes and southern Hume Highway/Roberts Road intersection at Strathfield/Greenacre. It links the St George region, Sydney Olympic Park, Ryde, Sydney’s northern suburbs and the Northern Beaches. It includes east and west facing ramps to and from the M4. There are four signalised intersections along this corridor
  • Concord Road/Leicester Avenue – this route extends about five kilometres between the intersection with Church Street at Meadowbank and the intersection with Everton Road at Strathfield. The Homebush Bay Drive/Centenary Drive route connects to Concord Road in Rhodes. Therefore, both routes share a similar north–south connectivity function in terms of linking the St George region with Sydney’s northern suburbs. However, Concord Road intersects with Parramatta Road further to the east and provides access to Strathfield rather than to Sydney Olympic Park. East facing ramps on the northern side of Parramatta Road provide direct access to and from the M4
  • Great North Road and Lyons Road – extends about four kilometres through Five Dock and Drummoyne. It provides a north–east connection between Parramatta Road and Victoria Road.

8.2.2 Traffic volumes and patterns

To understand and analyse existing traffic volumes and patterns in the vicinity of the project, traffic surveys were undertaken between 2012 and 2014. The surveys recorded hourly traffic volumes at seven locations over a one week survey period. Survey locations are shown in Figure 8.2.

The following volumes are shown in Table 8.2 for the seven survey sites:

  • AM peak: morning single hour peak recorded between 6.00 am and 10.00 am
  • PM peak: evening single hour peak recorded between 3.00 pm and 7.00 pm
  • Average weekday traffic (AWT) volume: daily traffic volume – derived from 24 hour traffic counts recorded between Monday and Friday during the survey week
  • Average daily traffic (ADT) volume: daily traffic volume – derived from 24 hour traffic counts recorded between Monday and Sunday during the survey week.
Table 8.2 Summary of traffic volumes
Site AM peak hour PM peak hour Average weekday traffic (AWT) Average daily traffic (ADT)
Site 1: Parramatta Road, Concord/Strathfield, east of the M4
Eastbound 3150 3345 53470 52425
Westbound 3053 2691 49735 101375
Two-way 6203 6035 103205 101375
Site 2: Queens Road, Five Dock, between William Street and Coonardoo Close
Eastbound 995 962 13715 13200
Westbound 941 987 13610 13245
Two-way 1936 1949 27325 26445
Site 3: Hume Highway, Ashfield, between Lion Street and Frederick Street
Eastbound 1068 913 14585 14000
Westbound 850 1313 1715 15235
Two-way 1918 2226 30300 29235
Site 4: Parramatta Road, Ashfield/Haberfield, west of Wattle Street
Eastbound 2535 2370 43470 43190
Westbound 2701 2809 46700 45870
Two-way 5236 5179 90070 89060
Site 5: Ramsay Street, Five Dock/Haberfield, between Henley Marine Drive and Wolseley Street
Eastbound 930 840 12930 12415
Westbound 829 990 13170 12740
Two-way 1759 1830 26100 25155
Site 6: Dobroyd Parade, Haberfield, east of Timbrell Drive
Eastbound 1993 2117 32285 32175
Westbound 1534 1825 30670 31080
Two-way 3527 3942 62955 63255
Site 7: Parramatta Road, Haberfield/Lewisham/Leichhardt/Summer Hill, at the Hawthorne Canal
Eastbound 2384 1883 32925 32140
Westbound 1621 2278 32120 31395
Two-way 4005 4161 65045 63535
Map showing traffic survey locations
Figure 8.2 Traffic survey locations

The following key findings can be drawn from the traffic volumes shown in Table 8.2, and the figures in section 5.4 of the traffic and transport assessment in Appendix G:

  • Parramatta Road:
    • Two-way AWT ranges from 101,375 east of the M4 to 89,060 west of Wattle Street, which equates to a 12 per cent reduction in daily traffic along Parramatta Road between these two locations. Moreover, AWT decreases to 63,535 vehicles per day on Parramatta Road at the Hawthorne Canal, which is a 37 per cent and 29 per cent reduction in comparison to the respective volumes east of the M4 and west of Wattle Street
    • AWT is generally around two per cent greater than ADT at all three locations on Parramatta Road, by direction and in combination. This indicates that average daily weekend traffic is generally at similar levels to ADT and hence the road corridor accommodates consistently high volumes of travel demand that are not biased towards weekday work-related trips
    • Peak period traffic volumes show similar trends to daily figures with the two-way AM peak and PM peak being 6,205 and 6,035 vehicles per hour respectively east of the M4. Importantly, the graphics show a fairly ‘flat’ profile of traffic throughout the day between the AM peak and PM peak periods at the three Parramatta Road locations. This confirms that traffic volumes on Parramatta Road are consistent throughout an average weekday, both during and between the more conventional morning and evening ‘peak’ periods
    • Traffic surveys recorded at three locations on Parramatta Road confirm that there is typically an even spread of directional volumes during the AM peak, PM peak and daily periods. The only location that shows a considerable deviation from this statistic is on Parramatta Road at the Hawthorne Canal during the AM peak, where eastbound volumes around 30 per cent higher than westbound traffic
  • Dobroyd Parade:
    • Two-way AM peak and PM peak volumes recorded on Dobroyd Parade was 3,525 and 3,940 vehicles per hour respectively. Interestingly, the highest hourly volume was 2,115 vehicles in the eastbound direction during the PM peak period, which suggests that more vehicles are travelling towards the Sydney CBD in the evening
    • The two-way AWT volume on Dobroyd Parade is slightly less than the equivalent ADT figure, which suggests that traffic levels are fairly consistent across the seven day period, in line with patterns on the connecting Parramatta Road corridor
  • Queens Road:
    • Directional peak period traffic volumes on Queens Road are at similar levels, ranging from 960 to 1045 vehicles per hour in the respective eastbound direction and westbound direction; during the average PM peak hour. This trend continues throughout the day with directional and two-way AWT and ADT volumes at similar levels, which peak to 27,325 vehicles during an average weekday. The profile of traffic across an average weekday on shows a more predictable pattern for two-way volumes, with more defined peaks during the morning and evening peak periods.
  • Ramsay Street:
    • Peak hour volumes recorded on Ramsay Street are similar by direction and time-period, with the maximum flow around 1,000 vehicles per hour. Two-way AWT and ADT volumes were 26,100 and 25,155 vehicles per day, which equates to a four per cent increase in daily traffic during the five day period.
  • Hume Highway:
    • Peak period counts on the Hume Highway show higher volumes of traffic in the eastbound and westbound direction during the respective AM peak and PM peak period. This suggests that the majority of vehicles are travelling towards the CBD in the morning and from the CBD in the evening.

8.2.3 Existing road network performance

Level of service

‘Level of service’ (LoS) is a measure to determine the operational conditions and efficiency of a roadway or intersection. The six levels of service range from A to F, with A representing the best operating conditions and F the worst. It is generally the practice of NSW Roads and Maritime Services (Roads and Maritime) to initiate investigations when the level of service of a roadway or intersection falls to D, and provide suitable remediation prior to the level of service decreasing further E or F. Further information on the definitions and calculation of level of service is provided in section 6.1 of the traffic and transport assessment (Appendix G).

Operational performance – roadways

Levels of service along the Parramatta Road and Wattle Street corridors under existing conditions are provided in Table 8.3 for the AM and PM peak. The Parramatta Road corridor currently experiences high levels of mid-block traffic demand. West of Concord Road, the level of service generally exceeds D, with the mid-block volumes often exceeding the theoretical capacity of the road. The results indicate that, east of the M4, there are eastbound capacity issues during the AM peak. This reflects the relatively low traffic volumes on Parramatta Road west of Concord Road since the removal of tolls on the M4. An exception is east of Bland Street, where the traffic volumes on Parramatta Road are lower due to congestion at the Wattle Street intersection. High northbound volumes are also evident on Dobroyd Parade, reflecting city bound demand in the morning peak. The results for the PM peak are similar, although high traffic volumes are recorded in both directions. Low westbound traffic east of Bland Street can be explained by congestion at the Hume Highway intersection and the extra lane on Parramatta Road west of Dalhousie Street.

The Gipps Street and Queens Road corridor also experiences high traffic volumes and has a level of service of E/F in both peaks, with the exception of PM eastbound west of Great North Road. The midblock level of service for the existing M4 is generally D, but is somewhat distorted by queuing at the Parramatta Road intersection which artificially limits throughput.

Table 8.3 Base year midblock operational performance summary
Location and direction No. lanes AM peak hour LoS PM peak hour LoS
Parramatta Road west of Bridge Road – Homebush EB 3 B C
WB 3 C C
Parramatta Road between Knight Street and Concord Road – Strathfield EB 2 D D
WB 2 D D
Parramatta Road between Mosely Street and Burwood Road – Strathfield EB 3 F F
WB 3 F E
Parramatta Road between Shaftesbury Road and Harris Street – Burwood EB 3 E E
WB 3 D E
Parramatta Road between Bland Street and Dalhousie Street – Haberfield EB 3 D D
WB 3 D C
Parramatta Road between Sloane Street and West Street – Haberfield EB 2 F F
WB 3 D E
Parramatta Road east of Crystal Street – Petersham EB 2 F E
WB 2 D F
Dobroyd Parade north of Timbrell Drive – Haberfield NB 2 F F
SB 2 E F
Queens Road west of Great North Road – Five Dock EB 1 F E
WB 1 F E
Queens Road west of Harris Street – Five Dock EB 1 F D
WB 1 F F
Gipps Street west of Burwood Road – Concord EB 1 E F
WB 1 E F
M4 Motorway west of Concord Road off- ramp – Strathfield EB 2 D D
WB 2 D D
Operational performance – intersections

Table 8.3 provides a summary of the level of service (average intersection delays) at key intersections along Parramatta Road corridor for the AM and PM peak. The intersections were grouped into nine clusters for assessment purposes (as shown in Figure 8.3).

Table 8.4 Base year intersection operational performance summary
Cluster Intersection AM peak hour LoS AM peak hour LoS
1 Homebush Bay Drive | M4 eastbound on-ramp A A
Homebush Bay Drive | M4 eastbound off-ramp D C
Homebush Bay Drive | M4 westbound on-ramp & off-ramp D D
Arthur Street | Centenary Drive E D
2 Underwood Road | Pomeroy Street D E
Parramatta Road | Bridge Road C B
Parramatta Road | Park Road A A
Parramatta Road | Underwood Road B C
Parramatta Road | Knight Street A A
3 Patterson Road | Concord Road F D
Sydney Street | Concord Road D E
Parramatta Road | Concord Road E F
Parramatta Road | M4 E E
4 Parramatta Road | Wentworth Road F D
Parramatta Road | Broughton Street D B
Parramatta Road | Burwood Road F B
Gipps Street | Burwood Road F C
Parramatta Road | Shaftesbury Road E D
5 Harris Street | Queens Road D D
Great North Road | Queens Road D C
Great North Road | Ramsay Road D E
Ramsay Road | Fairlight Street F E
Great North Road | Lyons Road F E
6 Parramatta Road | Harris Road D C
Parramatta Road | Croydon Road D E
Parramatta Road | Great North Road E D
Parramatta Road | Frederick Street F F
Parramatta Road | Bland Street B B
Wattle Street | Ramsay Street F E
Dobroyd Parade | Waratah Street B B
Dobroyd Parade | Timbrell Drive E D
7 Hume Hightway | Frederick Street F F
8 Parramatta Road | Dalhousie Street C B
Parramatta Road | Hume Highway F F
Parramatta Road | Sloane Street D C
9 Parramatta Road | Flood Street D D
Parramatta Road | Norton Street E D
Parramatta Road | Crystal Street F D
Map showing locations of traffic modelling clusters
Figure 8.3 Traffic modelling clusters

The Parramatta Road and Wattle Street corridors experience significant congestion during the AM and PM peaks. The traffic signals are coordinated to provide priority along the corridor to reduce the average delays to the major through movements in the peak direction. The results shown in the table indicate that a number of the intersections operate at or close to capacity. Intersections with a number of conflicting movements experience higher average intersection delays.

Traffic crash history
Parramatta Road

Between July 2009 and June 2014, 919 crashes were recorded on Parramatta Road between Homebush Bay Drive and Balmain Road. Two were fatal crashes, 400 resulted in injury and 517 were non-casualty crashes. Of these crashes, 621 (68 per cent) occurred at intersections.

The crash breakdown indicates that about 43 per cent of crashes were rear end crashes. This is consistent with roadways that are approaching capacity and along which high levels of queuing occur on the approaches to intersections. About 15 per cent of crashes were between opposing vehicles, and about 10 per cent resulted from lane changes.

Corridor analysis

Crash severity indices provide an assessment of road safety based on the type and number of crashes occurring. All crash types carry different weightings with fatal crashes having the highest weighting. The crash severity index for Parramatta Road is 1.22 which is equal to the average for the Sydney Metropolitan Area. The M4 has a slightly lower rating of 1.18.

Existing tunnels in Sydney (eg Lane Cove, Eastern Distributor, Cross City Tunnel and Sydney Harbour Tunnel) have a crash severity index of 1.16 which is reflective of the more controlled conditions, lower speeds and greater drive care when travelling in tunnels.

Table 8.5 outlines the average crash rates for Parramatta Road, M4 and existing Sydney tunnels. Parramatta Road has a significantly higher crash rate compared to the M4 and existing Sydney Tunnels. Crash rates within Sydney’s tunnels are substantially lower than on the M4 Motorway (ie three times lower) and Parramatta Road (ie about 12 times lower).

Table 8.5 Crash rates per 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled
Road Crash rate per 100MVKT
Total Fatal Injury Tow-away
Parramatta Road 136.0 0.3 54.8 70.9
M4 Motorway 33.9 0.1 11.7 22.1
Existing Sydney Tunnels (Lane Cove, Eastern Distributor, Cross City Tunnel and Sydney Harbour Tunnel) 11.9 0.0 4.2 7.4

Crashes on Parramatta Road between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2014 cost an estimated total of $62,395,968, or $12,479,194 per annum. The analysis indicates an average crash cost per 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled of $14,670,060 for the four sections analysed.

8.2.4 Public and active transport

Bus network

The project falls within the Sydney Metropolitan Bus Region 6, which is operated by Sydney Buses. The bus network in the vicinity of the project includes buses servicing the Hurstville to Macquarie Park strategic north–south bus corridor (route M41) and the Burwood to the CBD strategic east–west bus route (route 461), which runs along Parramatta Road. There are several bus routes that operate within particular sections of the project area via train station hubs, such as Strathfield, Burwood and Ashfield.

There are a number of bus services that travel along sections of Parramatta Road between Homebush Bay Drive and Wattle Street (routes 525, 526, 461, 415, 490, 492 and 491). Six Sydney Metropolitan Bus Region 6 routes cross Parramatta Road during peak periods between Homebush Bay Drive and Wattle Street.

Sydney’s Bus Future (Transport for NSW 2013) and the Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Program (being undertaken by Urban Growth NSW in conjunction with the project) will result in changes to the bus network using Parramatta Road and the wider project area.

Rail network

The project area is serviced by the North Shore, Northern and Western Rail Line (T1), and the Airport, Inner West and South Rail Line (T2). To the north of the project, North Strathfield Station is serviced by the Main Northern Rail Line which provides limited stops services to Sydney Central. To the south, up to 10 stations are serviced by the T1 and/or T2 Lines with some stations supporting limited stop express services. Strathfield and Burwood stations (to the south) accommodate the highest volume of passengers due to the large number of AM and PM peak services.

Pedestrian network

The nature of the pedestrian network in the vicinity of the project varies. Residential areas generally provide good local walking connections and footpaths, particularly in areas away from major roads. Sydney Markets, Sydney Olympic Park, Rhodes and Burwood are close to the study area and within walking distance to rail station and bus connections.

There are a limited number of signalised pedestrian crossings on Parramatta Road. The distance between signalised pedestrian crossings is up to 800 metres in some sections.

Cycling network

There are limited segregated cycling facilities along the Parramatta Road corridor. Dedicated cycleways or cycle lanes are generally aimed towards leisure rather than commuter trips. There are major gaps in north–south connections, due to the lack of permeability of Parramatta Road and the M4. In the project area, cyclists currently use the shoulders of the existing M4 to travel both eastbound and westbound. In the eastbound direction, cyclists are required to leave the M4 at Sydney Street due to the inadequate shoulder east of Sydney Street. In the westbound direction, cyclists access the M4 from the westbound on-ramp at Concord Road, due to the inadequate shoulder east of this location.

8.3 Assessment of construction impacts

Construction of the project has the potential to result in changes and disruptions to the existing road and transport network as a result of:

  • The movement of construction vehicles, particularly heavy vehicles transporting spoil, to and from the construction footprint, including the 10 construction ancillary facilities

  • Surface works requiring temporary traffic, cyclist and/or pedestrian diversions, road occupation, alterations to access, alterations to bus stops, temporary road closures, and alterations to speed limits.

A summary of the construction impact assessment is provided in the following sections.

8.3.1 Construction traffic volumes and routes

Type of traffic generated by construction

Construction would result in the generation of additional movements of both heavy and light vehicles on the road network. Construction traffic was divided into three categories for assessment purposes:

  • Removal of spoil generated by construction activities
  • Heavy vehicle deliveries and other heavy vehicles associated with construction activities
  • Light vehicles travelling to and from ancillary construction facilities.

The impacts of the project during construction were assessed assuming that spoil would be hauled in a westerly direction along the M4.

The majority of the ancillary construction facilities proposed for the project would have some parking available, however parking would not be provided for the whole construction workforce. The management of construction workforce parking is discussed further in section 6.6.5 of Chapter 6 (Construction work). An upgraded car park on the northern side of Concord Oval would provide about 250 car parking spaces for employees of the main project office during weekdays (before 6.30 pm). During weekends and after 6.30 pm on weekdays, the following indicative allocation of car spaces would occur:

  • 145 public parking spaces on Saturdays (leaving 100 for the construction workforce)
  • 195 public parking spaces on Sundays (leaving 50 for the construction workforce)
  • 145 public parking spaces on weeknights after 6.30 pm (leaving 100 for the construction workforce).

In addition, an existing car park at Railway Lane at North Strathfield containing about 50 car parking spaces would be used. This site is within walking distance of the Underwood Road civil and tunnel site (C3), Powells Creek civil site (C4), and the Concord Road civil and tunnel site (C5).

Construction traffic volumes

Table 6.20 in Chapter 6 (Construction work) shows the predicted construction traffic volumes for each ancillary construction facility during a typical AM peak, PM peak and daily period. The table shows that the highest volumes of heavy vehicles are forecast to originate from the Concord Road civil and tunnel site (C5) and Northcote Street tunnel site (C7), with the highest volumes of light vehicles generated by the Cintra Park tunnel site (C6).

Table 8.6 provides indicative volumes on key roads during the AM and PM peak periods for construction heavy vehicles. The volumes shown are based on spoil haulage occurring between 7,00 am and 10.00 pm daily. However, 24 hour spoil haulage would be required during tunnelling activity.

Table 8.6 Indicative peak period distribution of heavy construction vehicles (two-way)
Road location Road location AM construction peak hour (7.30 am – 8.30 am) PM construction peak hour (4.15 pm – 5.15 pm)
Wattle Street 80 60
Concord Road 34 21
Parramatta Road 172 161
M4 Motorway 240 203
Construction traffic routes

Table 6.19 in Chapter 6 (Construction work) outlines the proposed access and egress points to and from the construction ancillary facilities. The spoil haulage routes from the tunnel sites are shown in Figure 6.22 to Figure 6.24 in Chapter 6 (Construction work).

It has been assumed that concrete for tunnel construction would mainly originate from batching plants close to the project, although other sources may also be required. Other materials required for construction would, where as far as practicable, originate from within the Sydney region. Vehicles would generally use the arterial road network to access the various construction ancillary facilities.

8.3.2 Local road network impacts

Table 8.7 outlines the potential impacts of construction on the local road network in the vicinity of each of the construction ancillary facilities.

Table 8.7 Summary of local impacts of construction ancillary facilities
Ancillary construction facility Potential impacts on local roads
Homebush Bay Drive civil site (C1) Impacts would be minimal as vehicle access would be directly to and from the M4 or from the Homebush Bay Drive on-ramp. Temporary diversions at various stages and potential reduction in speed limit. There would be no reduction in the number of traffic lanes (except during night works) or impact on movements.
Pomeroy Street civil site (C2) Impacts would be minimal as the majority of construction vehicles would access the site directly to and from the M4 via the Homebush Bay Drive civil site (C1) – this would include all heavy vehicle movements. Some light vehicles would use Pomeroy Street, however, the low daily vehicle numbers would result in only minor impacts. Parking along Pomeroy Street in the vicinity of the work zone would be impacted.
Underwood Road civil and tunnel site (C3) Impacts would be limited to Underwood Road and Short Street East. Access to the site would be via a new traffic signal on Underwood Road. This new signal would potentially result in minor delays to traffic along Underwood Road. No impacts to Ismay Avenue or Allen Street are predicted, as all movements would be via the Underwood Road access. Parking along Underwood Road and Short Street East in the vicinity of the site would be impacted.
Powells Creek civil site (C4) Powell Street would be used as a heavy vehicle access route. Construction vehicles would access Powell Street from the signalised intersection of Underwood Road and Parramatta Road. There could be minor delays for northbound vehicles on Underwood Road, and localised parking restrictions may be required to enable turning movements.
Concord Road civil and tunnel site (C5) Impacts would be limited to Concord Road and Sydney Street. The existing signals at Concord Road and Sydney Street would be modified to allow vehicles to enter and exit the site. This may result in delays to road users on Concord Road. Light vehicle impacts on surrounding streets are expected to be minimal. It is predicted that Ada and Alexandra streets would experience some additional light vehicle traffic. Parking along Ada, Edward and Alexandra streets in the vicinity of the site would be potentially impacted.
Cintra Park tunnel site (C6) Impacts from heavy vehicles would be minimal, as movements would be directly to and from Parramatta Road. Light vehicle movements would result in impacts along Gipps Street. The impact of these movements on the performance of nearby intersections is considered in section 8.3.3.
Northcote Street tunnel site (C7) Impacts would be confined to Wattle Street, as movements would be directly to and from Parramatta Road via Wattle Street. A new movement, to permit heavy vehicles to turn around to access Parramatta Road, would be included at the existing signalised intersection at Waratah Street. This new movement would cause additional delays at this intersection (see section 8.3.3).
Eastern ventilation facility site (C8) Impacts would be confined to Parramatta Road and Wattle Street, as movements would be directly to and from these arterial roads. Walker Avenue would experience some additional light vehicle movements; however, these impacts are expected to be minimal. The eastbound lanes of Walker Avenue would be closed and left-in from Parramatta Road permitted only for construction traffic. The southbound traffic lane would remain open to the public and would permit left turn onto Parramatta Road.
Wattle Street and Walker Avenue civil site (C9) Impacts would occur at Ramsay Street and Waratah Street due to the provision/modification of traffic signals and additional heavy vehicle movements. The impacts on these intersections are considered in section 8.3.3. Martin and Allum streets would be closed at Wattle Street during construction to allow for the construction of the project along Wattle Street. Martin Street would be reopened following construction (with changes to turning movements), while Allum Street would be closed permanently. Alternate access to Wattle Street would be available at Ramsay Street or Waratah Street.
Parramatta Road civil site (C10) Impacts would be minimal as vehicles would access the site directly to and from Parramatta Road. Some delays for vehicles on Bland Street would be experienced due to heavy vehicles exiting the site via Bland Street to access Parramatta Road. One eastbound and one westbound lane of Parramatta Road would be closed as a result of the establishment of the civil site. This would result in two lanes in each direction during construction. Chandos Street would be closed at Parramatta Road during construction, and reopened during following construction.

8.3.3 Road and intersection performance

Road performance during construction

Table 8.8 shows the impact of construction on the operation of key roads. The table shows that several sections of Parramatta Road are forecast to exceed the roadway capacity with the increased background traffic and construction traffic in the 2017 AM and PM peak hours. The existing traffic volumes on these road sections are congested.

Table 8.8 Construction year (2017) midblock operational performance summary
Location and direction No. lanes AM peak hour (veh/hr) PM peak hour (veh/hr)
Flow V/C LOS Flow V/C LOS
Parramatta Road west of Bridge Road – Homebush EB 3 1332 0.49 C 1678 0.62 D
WB 3 1804 0.67 D 1694 0.63 D
Parramatta Road between Knight Street and Concord Road – Strathfield EB 2 1341 0.75 D 1489 0.83 E
WB 2 1636 0.91 E 1565 0.87 E
Parramatta Road between Mosely Street and Burwood Road – Strathfield EB 3 2768 1.03 F 2823 1.05 F
WB 3 2830 1.05 F 2490 0.92 E
Parramatta Road between Shaftesbury Road and Harris Street – Burwood EB 3 2376 0.88 E 2457 0.91 E
WB 3 2078 0.77 D 2358 0.87 E
Parramatta Road between Bland Street and Dalhousie Street – Haberfield EB 3 2099 0.78 D 2185 0.81 D
WB 3 1840 0.68 D 1668 0.62 D
Gipps Street west of Burwood Road – Concord EB 1 872 0.97 E 994 1.10 F
WB 1 861 0.96 E 1067 1.19 F
M4 Motorway west of Concord Road off-ramp – Strathfield EB 2 3168 * 0.70 D 3135 0.70 C
WB 2 3290 * 0.73 D 2426 0.54 C
Notes: V/C = volume to capacity ratio
* Freeway level of service is evaluated in passenger car units
Intersection level of service

The performance of key intersections in the vicinity of the project was modelled for the intersections that would be likely to experience the highest traffic volumes of construction traffic. The detailed results of modelling are provided in section 7.4.3 of the Traffic and Transport Report in Appendix G. A summary of these results is provided below.

The results indicate that for the 2017 ‘do minimum’ scenario, a number of key intersections on the Parramatta Road corridor would operate at or above capacity and experience high levels of delay during the AM and PM peak periods. The following intersections would operate at a level of service F for this scenario:

  • Patterson Street/Concord Road (AM peak)
  • Parramatta Road/Concord Road (PM peak)
  • Parramatta Road/Wentworth Road (AM peak)
  • Parramatta Road/Burwood Road (AM peak)
  • Parramatta Road/Frederick Street (AM and PM peak)
  • Wattle Street/Ramsay Street (AM peak).

As each of these intersections already operates at capacity without construction vehicles, the intersections are susceptible to large increases in average delay with only small increases in demand as a result of construction traffic. Background traffic growth accounts for part of the deterioration of the road network. In addition to those intersections already forecast to operate at or beyond capacity (without construction traffic), the modelling results indicate that the performance of the following intersections would deteriorate to a LoS F:

  • Parramatta Road/George Street (PM peak)
  • Sydney Street/Concord Road (PM peak)
  • Parramatta Road/Concord Road (AM peak)
  • Parramatta Road/M4 Motorway (AM peak)
  • Parramatta Road/Broughton Street (AM peak)
  • Parramatta Road/Croydon Road (AM and PM peak)
  • Parramatta Road/Shaftsbury Road (AM peak).

The above results represent a worst case cumulative effect of construction traffic. This would not occur for the entire duration of the construction period.

It is noted that at some intersections, stable or minor improvements in performance (with the addition of construction traffic) would occur as a result of upstream intersections operating over capacity. Once capacity is reached, upstream intersections behave as bottlenecks, reducing traffic flow to downstream intersections. This explains why some intersections show slight improvements to performance with the addition of construction traffic.

8.3.4 Access changes

Table 6.16 in Chapter 6 (Construction work) shows the temporary road closures and diversions on the existing road network required to facilitate construction. The majority of road and lane closures are anticipated to result in limited impacts to road users, as they would mainly affect local roads with low traffic volumes and/or streets where land acquisition is taking place. Alternative routes could therefore be used with minimal impacts.

Traffic lanes would be maintained on Sydney Street during peak hours. Impacts on the Sydney Street/Concord Road intersection as a result of construction traffic and changes to signal phasing are considered in section 8.3.3. Existing lanes would generally be maintained on Ramsay Street although some short term detours, lane closures and temporary diversions may occur where approved under a Traffic Management and Safety Plan.

It is predicted that the inclusion of new signals at Parramatta Road and Orpington Street would only impact westbound vehicles. Potential impacts would be limited as a result of the low construction vehicle volumes, which would mean the turning signal would only be used infrequently. Impacts would also reduce if the signal phasing is offset with the Dalhousie Street intersection.

Parking restrictions would be put in place on Underwood Road (at the Underwood Road civil and tunnel site (C3)), and potentially at the Powell Street intersection to accommodate movements to the Powells Creek civil site (C4) via Powell Street.

8.3.5 Road safety

Construction traffic volumes are expected to be relatively low compared to existing traffic volumes on Parramatta Road and the M4. As a worst-case scenario, around 2,000 vehicles per day would be generated by construction, with heavy vehicles comprising slightly more than half this total. Compared to existing traffic volumes, construction traffic would be the equivalent of around two per cent of total daily traffic on Parramatta Road in the study area.

As the volume of traffic generated by construction is expected to be relatively low compared to existing traffic volumes, the impacts of this short-term increase in traffic on the existing road network is not expected to significantly impact road safety in the vicinity of the project. In addition, any foreseen impacts to road safety during construction would be mitigated through the provision of tailored traffic management plans and other measures.

8.3.6 Public transport

Bus network

An increase in heavy vehicles on the existing road network during the construction period would be likely to result in increased delays at intersections along the project corridor and in surrounding areas. It is likely that the volumes of heavy vehicles on Parramatta Road and surrounding major roads would increase. Construction would have the potential to result in the following impacts to public transport services:

  • An increase in bus service travel times due to slower travel speeds and increased intersection delays
  • Longer travel times to and from bus stops by supplementary travel modes (eg car passenger, walking to/from bus stop) due to an increase in traffic volumes, slower travel speeds and increased intersection delays
  • Reduced amenity for bus users waiting at stops
  • At least four bus-stops would need to be relocated to protect community safety during construction
  • Connections between bus services and trains services may be affected.

Table 6.18 in Chapter 6 (Construction work) outlines the indicative changes to bus stop locations during construction. These would be subject to consultation with Transport for NSW.

Rail network

No impacts to rail services in the project corridor and surrounding areas are expected as a result of construction. Bus service connections to railway stations may be affected due to a potential reduction in the reliability of bus services during construction.

8.3.7 Pedestrians and cyclists

Pedestrian and cyclist diversions required during construction are outlined in Table 6.17 in Chapter 6 (Construction work).

The increase in heavy vehicle volumes during construction would potentially impact walking and cycling as follows:

  • Walking:
    • Increased walking distance as a result of diversions and road closures in some locations
    • Reduced pedestrian amenity
    • Potential adverse effect on pedestrian wait times at signalised intersections if adjustments are made to accommodate increased volumes
  • Cycling:
    • Increased delays at intersections for on road cyclists due to an increase in traffic volumes
    • Increase in journey time and distance due to closed shoulders and detours
    • Reduced cyclist amenity.

A staging plan would be implemented to ensure connectivity is maintained for cyclists during construction. This would involve the provision of detour routes as the section of existing cycle route on the M4, around Homebush Bay Drive, would be unavailable during construction. A diversion route, to remove cyclists off the M4 has been implemented for the M4 Widening project, and this detour may be used during construction of the M4 East project. To avoid Concord Road, a further diversion would be provided (refer to section 6.6.2 and Figure 6.19 in Chapter 6 (Construction work)). The route would be confirmed following appropriate consultation with Roads and Maritime, local councils and cycling groups.

8.4 Assessment of operation impacts

8.4.1 Road and intersection performance

Road performance during operation

The midblock level of service at key locations in the vicinity of the project was assessed for both the ‘do minimum’ and ‘do something’ scenarios. The results of modelling the 2021 and 2031 AM peak and PM peak operational performance of the project (the ‘do something’ scenarios) are summarised in Table 8.9 to Table 8.12. The results for the ‘do minimum’ scenarios are provided for comparison.

There will be a reduction in traffic volumes on some sections of Parramatta Road as a result of the project which provides an opportunity to improve public transport along the corridor (not included as part of this project). The results of the 2021 AM peak and PM peak indicate that level of service along Parramatta Road improves significantly between the M4 and Dalhousie Street, with small deteriorations elsewhere. This reflects the extent of the project, and the fact that a larger number of vehicles can access Parramatta Road east of the project due to the increased capacity provided. It is noted that some of the higher traffic densities are observed downstream of the project on- and off- ramps on Parramatta Road and Wattle Street. This provides an indication of the extra capacity provided to take vehicles to those locations, and of potential exit and merge issues. A high level of service is provided within the section of the project carrying the most vehicles, east of Concord Road.

Table 8.9 2021 ‘do something’ AM peak midblock operational performance
Location and direction No. lanes Do minimum (veh/hr) No. lanes Do something (veh/hr)
Flow V/C LoS Flow V/C LoS
Parramatta Road west of Bridge Road – Homebush EB 3 1458 0.54 C 3 1559 0.58 C
WB 3 1589 0.59 C 3 1840 0.68 D
Parramatta Road between Knight Street and Concord Road – Strathfield EB 2 1376 0.76 D 2 17869 0.98 E
WB 3 1632 0.60 D 3 2202 0.82 F
Parramatta Road between Mosely Street and Burwood Road – Strathfield EB 3 2640 0.98 E 3 1589 0.59 C
WB 3 2956 1.09 F 3 1763 0.65 D
Parramatta Road between Shaftesbury Road and Harris Street – Burwood EB 3 2250 0.83 E 2 864 0.48 C
WB 3 2215 0.82 E 2 640 0.36 B
Parramatta Road between Bland Street and Dalhousie Street – Haberfield EB 3 2042 0.76 D 3 1312 0.49 C
WB 3 1925 0.71 D 3 832 0.31 B
Parramatta Road between Sloane Street and West Street – Haberfield EB 2 2632 1.46 F 2 2731 1.52 F
WB 3 2749 1.02 F 3 2898 1.07 F
Parramatta Road east of Crystal Street – Petersham EB 2 2005 1.11 F 2 2011 1.12 F
WB 2 2201 1.22 F 2 2205 1.22 F
Dobroyd Parade north of Timbrell Drive – Haberfield NB 2 1987 1.10 F 2 1989 1.11 F
SB 2 1882 1.05 F 2 1916 1.06 F
M4 East east of Concord Road – Strathfield EB 3 2443 * 0.36 B
WB 3 3045 * 0.45 B
Queens Road west of Great North Road – Five Dock EB 1 939 1.04 F 1 909 1.01 F
WB 1 1065 1.18 F 1 909 1.01 F
Queens Road west of Harris Street – Five Dock EB 1 1059 1.18 F 1 1002 1.11 F
WB 1 1164 1.29 F 1 1028 1.14 F
Gipps Street west of Burwood Road – Concord EB 1 859 0.95 E 1 814 0.90 E
WB 1 869 1.00 E 1 799 0.89 E
M4 Motorway west of Concord Road off-ramp – Strathfield EB 2 2883 * 0.64 C 2 1066 0.24 A
WB 2 3509 0.78 D 2 1592 0.35 B
Notes: V/C = volume to capacity ratio
* Freeway level of service is evaluated in passenger car units
Table 8.10 2021 ‘do something’ PM peak midblock operational performance
Location and direction No. lanes Do minimum (veh/hr) No. lanes Do something (veh/hr)
Flow V/C LoS Flow V/C LoS
Parramatta Road west of Bridge Road – Homebush EB 3 1839 0.68 D 3 1948 0.72 D
WB 3 1594 0.59 D 3 1882 0.70 D
Parramatta Road between Knight Street and Concord Road – Strathfield EB 2 1541 0.86 E 2 2037 1.13 F
WB 3 1507 0.56 C 3 2096 0.78 D
Parramatta Road between Mosely Street and Burwood Road – Strathfield EB 3 2912 1.08 F 3 1272 0.47 C
WB 3 2420 0.90 E 3 1744 0.65 D
Parramatta Road between Shaftesbury Road and Harris Street – Burwood EB 3 2582 0.96 E 2 847 0.47 C
WB 3 2290 0.85 E 2 1052 0.58 C
Parramatta Road between Bland Street and Dalhousie Street – Haberfield EB 3 2246 0.83 E 3 1132 0.42 C
WB 3 1582 0.59 C 3 833 0.31 B
Parramatta Road between Sloane Street and West Street – Haberfield EB 2 2320 1.29 F 2 2448 1.36 F
WB 3 2373 0.88 E 3 2495 0.92 E
Parramatta Road east of Crystal Street – Petersham EB 2 1987 1.10 F 2 2053 1.14 F
WB 2 2154 1.20 F 2 2225 1.25 F
Dobroyd Parade north of Timbrell Drive – Haberfield NB 2 2194 1.22 F 2 2206 1.23 F
SB 2 1904 1.06 F 2 1923 1.07 F
M4 East east of Concord Road – Strathfield EB 3 2854 * 0.42 B
WB 3 2897 * 0.42 B
Queens Road west of Great North Road – Five Dock EB 1 774 0.86 F 1 735 0.82 E
WB 1 913 1.01 F 1 863 0.96 E
Queens Road west of Harris Street – Five Dock EB 1 756 0.84 E 1 642 0.71 D
WB 1 1000 1.11 F 1 958 1.06 F
Gipps Street west of Burwood Road – Concord EB 1 1010 1.12 F 1 906 1.01 F
WB 1 1045 1.16 F 1 1011 1.12 F
M4 Motorway west of Concord Road off-ramp – Strathfield EB 2 3290 * 0.73 D 2 1030 * 0.23 A
WB 2 2201 * 0.49 C 2 783 * 0.17 A
Notes: V/C = volume to capacity ratio
* Freeway level of service is evaluated in passenger car units
Table 8.11 2031 ‘do something’ AM peak midblock operational performance
Location and direction No. lanes Do minimum (veh/hr) No. lanes Do something (veh/hr)
Flow V/C LoS Flow V/C LoS
Parramatta Road west of Bridge Road – Homebush EB 3 1724 0.64 D 3 1781 0.66 D
WB 3 1833 0.68 D 3 2012 0.75 D
Parramatta Road between Knight Street and Concord Road – Strathfield EB 2 1551 0.86 E 2 1948 1.08 F
WB 3 1908 0.71 D 3 2412 0.89 E
Parramatta Road between Mosely Street and Burwood Road – Strathfield EB 3 2624 0.97 E 3 1674 0.62 D
WB 3 3407 1.26 F 3 2425 0.90 E
Parramatta Road between Shaftesbury Road and Harris Street – Burwood EB 3 2101 0.78 D 2 1016 0.56 C
WB 3 2416 0.89 E 2 1061 0.59 C
Parramatta Road between Bland Street and Dalhousie Street – Haberfield EB 3 2091 0.77 D 3 1449 0.54 C
WB 3 2198 0.81 E 3 1084 0.40 B
Parramatta Road between Sloane Street and West Street – Haberfield EB 2 2673 1.49 F 2 2627 1.46 F
WB 3 2857 1.06 F 2 2702 1.50 F
Parramatta Road east of Crystal Street – Petersham EB 2 2012 1.12 F 2 1890 1.05 F
WB 2 2201 1.22 F 2 2034 1.13 F
Dobroyd Parade north of Timbrell Drive – Haberfield NB 2 1957 1.09 F 2 1917 1.07 F
SB 2 2100 1.17 F 2 1958 1.09 F
M4 East east of Concord Road – Strathfield EB 3 4273 * 0.63 C
WB 3 6668 * 0.99 E
Queens Road west of Great North Road – Five Dock EB 1 953 1.06 F 1 919 1.02 F
WB 1 1181 1.31 F 1 1053 1.17 F
Queens Road west of Harris Street – Five Dock EB 1 1126 1.25 F 1 1057 1.17 F
WB 1 1246 1.38 F 1 1172 1.30 F
Gipps Street west of Burwood Road – Concord EB 1 898 1.00 E 1 816 0.91 E
WB 1 979 1.09 F 1 900 1.00 F
M4 Motorway west of Concord Road off-ramp – Strathfield EB 2 2879 * 0.64 C 2 1133 * 0.25 B
WB 2 4159 * 0.92 E 2 1892 * 0.42 B
Notes: V/C = volume to capacity ratio
* Freeway level of service is evaluated in passenger car units
Table 8.12 2031 ‘do something’ PM peak midblock operational performance
Location and direction No. lanes Do minimum (veh/hr) No. lanes Do something (veh/hr)
Flow V/C LoS Flow V/C LoS
Parramatta Road west of Bridge Road – Homebush EB 3 2003 0.74 D 3 2060 0.76 D
WB 3 1720 0.64 D 3 2020 0.75 D
Parramatta Road between Knight Street and Concord Road – Strathfield EB 2 1725 0.96 E 2 2203 1.22 F
WB 3 1604 0.59 D 3 2270 0.84 E
Parramatta Road between Mosely Street and Burwood Road – Strathfield EB 3 3132 1.16 E 3 1757 0.65 D
WB 3 2530 0.94 E 3 1890 0.70 D
Parramatta Road between Shaftesbury Road and Harris Street – Burwood EB 3 2817 1.04 F 2 1644 0.91 E
WB 3 2264 0.84 E 2 1514 0.84 D
Parramatta Road between Bland Street and Dalhousie Street – Haberfield EB 3 2570 0.95 E 3 923 0.34 B
WB 3 1602 0.59 D 3 552 0.20 A
Parramatta Road between Sloane Street and West Street – Haberfield EB 2 2642 1.47 F 2 2562 1.42 F
WB 3 2499 1.39 F 2 2404 1.32 F
Parramatta Road east of Crystal Street – Petersham EB 2 2499 1.39 F 2 2374 1.32 F
WB 2 2596 1.44 F 2 2280 1.27 F
Dobroyd Parade north of Timbrell Drive – Haberfield NB 2 22589 1.25 F 2 2297 1.28 F
SB 2 1955 1.09 F 2 1927 1.07 F
M4 East east of Concord Road – Strathfield EB 3 5948 * 0.88 D
WB 3 5749 * 0.88 D
Queens Road west of Great North Road – Five Dock EB 1 802 0.89 E 1 756 0.84 E
WB 1 958 1.06 F 1 915 1.02 F
Queens Road west of Harris Street – Five Dock EB 1 842 0.94 E 1 710 0.79 D
WB 1 1037 1.15 F 1 995 1.11 F
Gipps Street west of Burwood Road – Concord EB 1 1057 1.17 F 1 1008 1.12 F
WB 1 1057 1.17 F 1 1008 1.12 F
M4 Motorway west of Concord Road off-ramp – Strathfield EB 2 3712 * 0.82 D 2 1539 * 0.34 B
WB 2 2281 * 0.51 C 2 814 * 0.18 A
Notes: V/C = volume to capacity ratio
* Freeway level of service is evaluated in passenger car units

For the 2031 scenario, the opening of the possible future M4–M5 Link (which is subject to planning approval) (M4–M5 Link) provides scope for a limited extension of bus lanes east of Dalhousie Street, which is discussed further in Appendix G. This is accounted for in the assessment by a reduction in the number of westbound general traffic lanes between Sloane Street at Haberfield and West Street at Petersham.

In summary, the 2031 levels of service demonstrate the impact of the M4–M5 Link, as there is a small reduction in traffic density east of the Parramatta Road interchange (whereas there was an increase in 2021). However, the level of service would remain at F for all these midblocks. The exception is westbound to Sloane Street, where traffic increases substantially due to the provision of a bus lane in the 2031 ‘do something’ scenario. There would be limited change on Dobroyd Parade east of Timbrell Drive, reflecting no significant fall in volumes due to the M4–M5 Link. However increases would be experienced west of Concord Road, with eastbound density approaching George Street of particular note. High traffic densities would be recorded on the project east of Concord Road, particularly westbound during the AM peak where capacity is reached.

Motorway performance

The midblock performance of the M4 East and M4 in 2021 and 2031 for the ‘do minimum’ and ‘do something’ scenarios are shown in Table 8.13.

In the 2021 AM and PM peaks, a high level of service is provided within the M4 East. There would also be improvements to the level of service for the M4 west of Concord Road as a result of the project.

In 2031, increased traffic densities are recorded within the M4 East tunnels, in particular during the westbound AM peak and the eastbound PM peak where capacity is reached.

High traffic densities are now recorded in the project’s mainline tunnel east of Concord Road, particularly westbound during the AM peak and eastbound in the PM peak where capacity is reached.

Table 8.3 Midblock operational performance of motorways
Location and direction No. lanes Do minimum (veh/hr) No. lanes Do something (veh/hr)
Flow V/C LoS Flow V/C LoS
AM peak – 2021
M4 Motorway East east of Concord Road – Strathfield EB 3 2443 * 0.36 B
WB 3 3315 * 0.49 C
M4 Motorway west of Concord Road off-ramp – Strathfield EB 2 2883 * 0.64 C 2 1066 * 0.24 A
WB 2 3509 * 0.78 D 2 1592 * 0.35 B
PM peak – 2021
M4 East east of Concord Road – Strathfield EB 3 2864 * 0.42 B
WB 3 2864 * 0.42 B
M4 Motorway west of Concord Road off-ramp – Strathfield EB 2 3290 * 0.73 D 2 1030 * 0.23 A
WB 2 2201 * 0.49 C 2 783 * 0.17 A
AM peak – 2031
M4 Motorway East east of Concord Road – Strathfield EB 3 4274 * 0.63 C
WB 3 6668 * 0.99 E
M4 Motorway west of Concord Road off-ramp – Strathfield EB 2 2879 * 0.64 C 2 1133 * 0.25 A
WB 2 4159 * 0.92 E 2 1892 * 0.42 B
PM peak – 2031
M4 East east of Concord Road – Strathfield EB 3 6399 * 0.95 E
WB 3 5749 * 0.85 D
M4 Motorway west of Concord Road off-ramp – Strathfield EB 2 3712 * 0.82 D 2 1539 * 0.34 B
WB 2 2281 * 0.51 C 2 814 * 0.18 A
Notes: V/C = volume to capacity ratio
* Freeway level of service is evaluated in passenger car units
Intersection performance

Modelling of intersection performance involved grouping the key intersections into nine clusters (as shown in Figure 8.3). The intersection performance results are summarised in Table 8.14.

In summary, the results of the intersection analysis show significant reductions in delay during all operational scenarios as a result of the project. However, a number of intersections have been assessed as presenting challenging conditions for the ‘do something’ scenarios. These issues are summarised as follows:

  • The intersection of Parramatta Road and George Street experiences significant delay in all ‘do minimum’ and ‘do something’ scenarios. Proposed intersection amendments, such as reinstating the north approach double right turn, mean that the delay only increases in the 2031 AM peak. Delays at this intersection may combine with the operation of the Powells Creek on-ramp to increase the risk of queuing impacting the performance of other intersections. The modelled delays indicate a risk of queued vehicles reaching the Concord Road intersection
  • Concord Road would continue to experience a high level of delays due to a significant increase in volumes. By 2031, northbound delays through Patterson Street could lead to lengthy delays and the formation of significant queues on the northbound off-ramp, and potentially through the congested Parramatta Road intersection
  • Substantially higher right turn volumes between Parramatta Road and Shaftesbury Road lead to a significant increase in delays in the 2031 PM peak
  • Capacity restrictions at the Dobroyd Parade/Timbrell Drive and Parramatta Road/Hume Highway intersections are likely to block through adjacent intersections and lead to significant queuing on the project off-ramps in 2021. Particular issues result from higher right turn volumes from Timbrell Drive to Dobroyd Parade, and from Parramatta Road to Hume Highway
  • The opening of the M4–M5 Link and the provision of ramps on Wattle Street significantly reduces congestion east of Bland Street, but re-introduces significant delays at the Parramatta Road and Wattle Street intersection. A large left turn movement from Parramatta Road is a key issue which could impact bus travel times in the kerbside lane.
Table 8.14 Summary of intersection performance modelling results
Cluster 2021 ‘do something’ 2031 ‘do something’
AM peak PM peak AM peak PM peak
1 Limited impacts with small reductions in delay at Arthur Street/Centenary Drive failing to significantly reduce congestion. Limited impacts at most intersections. Similar to the AM peak, existing congestion at George Street is retained which could combine with the introduction of the Powells Creek ramp to create queuing issues at Knight Street. An increase in delay is also forecast at the congested (level of service F) Underwood Road/Pomeroy Street intersection primarily due to an increase in right turn movements. Limited changes to performance with only the Arthur Street/Centenary Drive intersection experiencing significant delays. Minor performance improvements on Homebush Bay Drive although the Arthur Street and Centenary Drive intersection would continue to experience heavy delays.
2 Limited impacts on Parramatta Road west of Concord Road (despite the large increase in volume and introduction of Powells Creek ramp). The introduction of the ramp combined with long existing delays at George Street may however increase the risk of queuing impacting the operation of Knight Street and Underwood Road intersections as eastbound vehicles get held at the stopline west of the ramp. A very large reduction in delay at the existing Parramatta Road and M4 intersection due to the substantial reduction in demand on the existing M4. This is forecast to provide a high quality level of service A rather than the pre-existing F. A significant increase in the existing substantial delays at George Street. Queues from this intersection have the potential to interfere with operations at Concord Road, Knight Street and Underwood Road. The Parramatta Road and Underwood Road intersection also begins to experience higher delays due to a large volume increase. Congested conditions (level of service F) are retained at Underwood Road/Pomeroy Street, and Parramatta Road/George Street. Performance at the latter intersection may lead to queuing extending through other intersections such as the critical Concord Road junction.
3 Conditions on Concord Road remain highly congested but proposed intersection improvements at Patterson Street and Parramatta Road provide additional right turn capacity and help to maintain similar levels of delay despite significant increases in traffic volumes. Overall delays are similar with increases at Concord/Parramatta and Concord/Patterson balanced by sizable reductions in delay at Sydney Street/Concord Road and the Parramatta/M4 intersection. Northbound queuing from the Patterson Street intersection may however block through the Sydney Street intersection and lead to queues extending onto the northbound off ramp and back to the highly congested Concord and Parramatta intersection Limited impacts due to increased capacity generally matching the increased volumes attracted by the scheme. While overall delays remain similar, the effect of significant congestion could be to create long queues on the project off ramps creating a risk of extending into the tunnel. The exception is the Parramatta Road/M4 intersection which performs strongly with the scheme in place and experiences significant delays without. Traffic volume increases on Concord Road would lead to significant increases in delay at the already congested Concord/Parramatta and Concord/Patterson intersections. This would result in lengthy queuing and to access and egress issues at the M4 East ramps on Concord Road.
4 Conditions on Parramatta Road east of Concord undergo substantial reductions in levels of delay and are forecast to provide a level of service B/C from the pre-existing F despite the reduction of through capacity due to bus lane provision. This is achieved through the transfer of traffic to the project. A large reduction in delay is also experienced at the Gipps Street intersection with Burwood Road although it would remain relatively congested. Overall conditions on Parramatta Road east of Concord remain similar as the reduction in traffic is balanced by the reduction in capacity due to the provision of bus lanes Conditions east of Concord continue to provide greatly improved performance with the project in place; however, level of service F would continue to be experienced at Parramatta Road/Wentworth Road due to high turning volumes, and also at Gipps Street/Burwood Road Benefits continue to be provided at intersections east of Concord with the exception of Parramatta Road/Shaftesbury Road where large increases in right turn demand combined with reductions in through capacity due to the bus lane provision, lead to additional delay and deterioration in level of service from D to F. Limited changes are observed on Gipps Street due to a modest reduction in volumes.
5 Reductions in delay in Five Dock although conditions would remain congested (level of service E/F) due to high background traffic volumes. Impacts in Five Dock would be experienced due to changing traffic conditions resulting in a large increase in delay at the already congested intersection of Great North Road/Lyons Road. Conversely, there is significant relief at the Great North Road/Queens Road due to a reduction in volumes. Lengthy delays and level of service F are experienced at all intersections in the Five Dock area continue to exist in the ‘do something’ scenario. Performance changes are variable within the Five Dock area with extremely lengthy delays experienced with both the ‘do minimum’ and ‘do something’ scenarios.
6 There would be substantial reductions in delay at the key intersections of Parramatta Road with Great North Road, Parramatta Road with Wattle Street, and Wattle Street with Ramsay Street. These intersections go from highly congested level of service F conditions to B
There is a substantial increase in delay at the Dobroyd Parade and Timbrell Drive intersection (from level of service D to F) due primarily to vehicles using the M4 East tunnel. Queuing at this intersection would extend all the way through Waratah Street and onto the M4 East exit ramp.
Changes are similar to the AM peak with substantial improvement in performance at key intersections such as Parramatta Road and Wattle Street, balanced by significant additional delays at Timbrell Drive/Dobroyd Parade. While queuing at Timbrell Drive/Dobroyd Parade intersection is not as severe as the morning peak, congestion remains likely to impact operations at Waratah Street and lead to delays on the M4 East off-ramp The 2021 pattern of performance improvements continues with the exception of the Parramatta Road and Great North Road intersection where increases in turning movements combine with the loss of through capacity due to the provision of bus lanes to increase delays. While conditions continue to improve at the critical Parramatta Road and Wattle Street intersection, demand for movements to/from the M4-M5 Link ramps maintains a level of congestion (level of service F) although significantly lower than in the ‘do minimum’ scenario.
The Dobroyd Parade/Timbrell Drive intersection also continues to experience increased delays and level of service F despite having a lower demand following the introduction of the M4-M5 Link. This is caused by changes in travel patterns such as the increased demand for the right turn from Timbrell Drive, and the reduction in delay elsewhere allowing more of the vehicle demand to actually reach the intersection. Delays are however significantly less than in 2021 before the introduction of the M4-M5 Link.
Performance changes are variable with substantial reductions in delay at Arlington Street, Great North Road, Parramatta Road/Wattle Street and Ramsey Street being balanced by a significant increase in delay at Dobroyd Parade/Timbrell Drive. While there is a substantial improvement in performance at Parramatta Road/Wattle Street, it remains level of service F partly due to re-introduction of a high left turn demand to Wattle Street because of the opening of the M4-M5 Link ramps.
7 Conditions would remain highly congested at Hume Highway and Frederick Street (level of service F). The Hume Highway/Frederick Street intersection would experience a significant reduction in delay but remain congested at level of service F due to the heavy future demand on this corridor. Delays reduce along with volumes at the Hume Highway and Frederick Street intersection but remain at very high levels and level of service F. There are small reductions in delays at the Hume Highway and Frederick Street intersection; however, the intersection continues to fail at level of service F with very lengthy average delays.
8 and 9 Traffic volume increases east of the Parramatta Road M4 ramps would result in higher levels of delay at all intersections, particularly Sloane Street, Norton Street and Crystal Street which are all level of service F. These delays are likely to result in blocking through upstream intersections and ultimately lead to significant congestion at Dalhousie Street close to the merge. Resultant delays would lead to lengthy eastbound queues impacting the tunnel and potentially upstream intersections on Parramatta Road such as Bland Street. East of the Parramatta Road ramps, there would be a substantial increase in delay at the Hume Highway intersection with Parramatta Road, mainly due to a significant increase in right turn demand. Queuing at this intersection would impede operations at adjacent intersections such as Dalhousie Street and Sloane Street, and is expected to lead to lengthy queuing on the M4 East off ramp and into the tunnel. Notwithstanding impacts from the Hume Highway intersection, other Parramatta Road intersections such as Sloane Street, Norton Street and Crystal Street also experience a significant deterioration in performance The introduction of the M4-M5 Link has a significant beneficial impact on all Parramatta Road intersections east of the M4 East ramps, particularly at Crystal Street and Norton Street which go from level of service F to C/D. While experiencing a significant reduction in average delay of more than 40 seconds, the Hume Highway and Parramatta Road intersection would however remain congested (level of service F) with potential for queuing to reach the merge point and tunnel ramps. The introduction of the M4-M5 Link generates significant benefits at the Parramatta Road intersections east of the M4 East ramps, particularly at the Hume Highway, and Norton Street and Crystal Street intersections which while remaining level of service F reduce in average delay by more than 100 seconds each.
Travel times

Indicative AM peak travel time savings on strategic routes (taken from the WRTM) are illustrated in Figure 8.4. The travel time savings discussed below do not include any savings resulting from the M4 Widening project. The analysis suggests that travel time savings of between six and eight minutes are provided by the project in 2021 on most strategic routes assessed. Travel time savings in 2031 take account of the M4–M5 Link and result in more substantial time savings of 10 to 18 minutes.

Chart showing claimed AM travel times
savings gained by building to M4 East and M4-M5 Link
Figure 8.4 Travel time savings – AM peak

PM peak travel time savings are illustrated in Figure 8.5 and demonstrate similar time savings in 2021, with an increase in 2031 to savings of 13 to 20 minutes.

Chart showing claimed PM travel times
savings gained by building to M4 East and M4-M5 Link
Figure 8.5 Travel time savings – PM peak

The analysis demonstrates travel time savings on strategic corridors resulting from the project, augmented in 2031 by the completion of WestConnex. It is noted that the WTRM is a strategic model which may not fully account for intersection delays at a detailed level and therefore provides a conservative assessment. Analysis from the LinSig intersection models suggests substantial time savings at intersections, delivering further benefits to local, regional and strategic trips.

Safety

The WRTM has been used to estimate the number of crashes in the study area (using the M4 and Parramatta Road corridors) with and without the project, using the assumption that the number of crashes per vehicle kilometre travelled is similar to the existing situation.

This assessment was confined to the existing M4 and Parramatta Road corridors where existing data can be used to estimate future behaviour. Crashes during the do minimum scenario are predicted to rise slowly over time on the M4 and Parramatta Road corridor. This reflects the forecast increases in traffic volumes. Annual costs of $14.95 million are anticipated in 2021 with these expected to rise to $16.31 million per annum by 2031.

With the construction of the project (do something scenario), there is a clear overall road safety benefit on the corridor with a 32 per cent reduction in crash costs in 2021 from $14.95 million to $10.2 million annually. This reduction in crash costs is less pronounced in 2031 due to the large volume increases on the project but nevertheless a reduction of approximately 25 per cent is observed with costs falling from $16.31 million to $12.22 million per annum.

The project design and construction would incorporate design reviews and road safety audits in compliance with Roads and Maritime guidance to follow best practice in reducing crash risks.

8.4.2 Public transport

Bus network

Transport for NSW intends to operate a new high frequency bus route between Burwood and the CBD, via Parramatta Road. Bus frequency has yet to be confirmed; however, a guide of 15 to 20 buses per hour in 2021, and 20 to 30 buses per hour in 2031 has been provided.

The operational modelling has assumed that bus lanes would be provided between Burwood Road and east of Bland Street to coincide with the opening of the project. Further provision of bus lanes to the east is also assumed to coincide with the opening of the M4–M5 Link.

A high level analysis has been undertaken to understand the potential level of bus delays at signalised intersections with and without the project. The results are provided in Table 8.15 and Table 8.16.

Table 8.15 2021 Bus delays at signalised intersections between Burwood Road and Bland Street
Direction Do minimum (min:sec) Do something (min:sec) Time saving (min:sec)
AM peak PM peak AM peak PM peak AM peak PM peak
Eastbound 4:40 7:59 1:50 1:54 2:50 6:05
Westbound 15:52 6:39 1:55 1:50 13:57 4:49
Table 8.16 2031 Bus delays at signalised intersections between Burwood Road and Bland Street
Direction Do minimum (min:sec) Do something (min:sec) Time saving (min:sec)
AM peak PM peak AM peak PM peak AM peak PM peak
Eastbound 7:54 16:08 2:29 3:39 5:03 10:53
Westbound 18:02 8:04 2:00 2:40 15:50 5:37

The results indicated that, in 2021, time savings for buses of up to 14 minutes in the westbound direction are achievable. Other time savings vary between three and six minutes. In 2031, AM time savings increase to five to 15 minutes and the PM peak is five to 11 minutes. Bus delays in 2031 ‘do something’ scenarios rise only marginally with the exception of eastbound during the PM peak. This is mainly a result of delays at the Wattle Street intersection due to a high left turn demand to the M4–M5 Link ramps and the absence of a dedicated left turn provision.

The project amends the priority for buses serving the Olympic Park via the underpass at Homebush Bay Drive. Bus would be required to give way to vehicles on the M4 eastbound on-ramp. The operation of this ramp would be subject to further discussions between WDA, Roads and Maritime and Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA).

The NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan (Transport for NSW 2012a) provides the overarching strategy for Sydney’s transport future. The Plan recognises the importance of the Parramatta Road corridor as the main connection between the Sydney CBD and Western Sydney. Potential improvements for the corridor come from the long term Master Plan through the Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Program.

A re-design of the Parramatta Road corridor is not being delivered at part of the project. However, the project will create the opportunity to investigate how existing road space and transport operations could be reconfigured/rebalanced (eg improved east-west and north-south movements) to improve public transport access/services/patronage along and across the Parramatta Road corridor.

Opportunities to improve public transport patronage

As a result of the predicted reductions in traffic volumes provided by the project in 2021 peak periods on Parramatta Road, the project presents the opportunity to provide bus lanes on Parramatta Road east of Burwood Road (as part of a separate project. The assessment also indicates that peak period bus intersection delays would reduce by five to 15 minutes in the 2031 operational scenario.

Provision of bus lanes, as part of a separate project, could lead to an increase in the number of services. Combined with the reduction in bus travel times, this would have the potential to improve public transport patronage along the corridor.

8.4.3 Pedestrian and cyclist facilities

As the majority of road network changes associated with the project would occur underground and at existing intersections, there would be limited change to pedestrian facilities on surface roads. Improvements to pedestrian facilities may, however, occur as part of potential future changes to the Parramatta Road environment to be considered as part of the New Parramatta Rd: Draft Parramatta Road Urban Renewal Strategy (UrbanGrowth NSW 2015).

Potential benefits include:

  • Realigned pedestrian footpaths at locations such as the Wattle Street and Ramsay Street intersection
  • Additional crossing locations such as the southbound off-ramp location on Concord Road and the Powell’s Creek westbound on-ramp
  • Amendments to signal timings due to changes in traffic volume and distribution. As the majority of intersections within the study area would carry fewer vehicles, this would be generally positive and provide scope for additional pedestrian crossing time and/or signal phases.

Cyclists can also expect to benefit from reduced traffic volumes through the study area, and the ability to use the bus lanes on Parramatta Road which would be facilitated by the project.

The existing eastbound cycleway on the northern side of the M4 would be re-routed from east of Homebush Bay Drive to near Pomeroy Street. Part of the re-routed cycleway would be off-road, improving cyclist safety and amenity. In addition, as a result of the removal of the existing Concord Road northbound on-ramp connecting to the existing M4 westbound, a new cycleway ramp would be provided near Queen Street at North Strathfield. These changes would not significantly adversely affect cyclist travel times and amenity.

8.4.4 Fulfilment of project objectives

The objectives of the project are identified in Chapter 3 (Strategic context and project need). The performance of the project measured against the traffic and transport-related project objectives is discussed below.

Support Sydney’s long-term economic growth through improved motorway access and connections linking Sydney’s international gateways (Sydney Airport and Port Botany), Western Sydney and places of business across the city

The assessment in this chapter and Appendix G has identified large reductions in vehicle delay along the corridor between Homebush Bay Drive in the west, and City West Link and Haberfield/Leichardt in the east. This is evident both within the new project tunnel which would ultimately provide connectivity to the M4–M5 Link, and also on the existing Parramatta Road, despite the reduction in capacity due to the provision of kerbside bus lanes. As a result, connectivity between the major centres identified in this objective would be improved as a result of the project.

Relieve road congestion so as to improve the speed, reliability and safety of travel in the M4 corridor, including parallel arterial roads

As discussed above, large reductions in vehicle delay are forecast as a result of the project on the overall corridor, and specifically on Parramatta Road. The assessment has also identified benefits on the parallel route along Queens Road and Gipps Street. The project would also provide additional route options along the corridor and therefore increase network resilience in the event of incidents.

Cater for the diverse travel demands along these corridors that are best met by road infrastructure

The project provides the opportunity for the provision of bus lanes on Parramatta Road east of Burwood Road due to the substantial reductions in traffic volumes during peak periods. This has been assessed as reducing peak period bus intersection delays by five to 15 minutes in the 2031 operational scenario. The traffic reductions and bus lanes also provide greater opportunities for cyclist use of Parramatta Road and parallel corridors sharing in the overall volume reduction. Finally, greater priority for pedestrians at signalised crossings would be possible in tandem with the reductions in traffic volume.

Create opportunities for urban revitalisation, improved liveability, and public and active transport improvements along and around Parramatta Road

The reduction in traffic volumes and congestion on Parramatta Road provides opportunities for reprioritisation of capacity for public transport and pedestrian movements. This would be further explored in the Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Program being undertaken in parallel with the WestConnex project.

Enhance the productivity of commercial and freight generating land uses strategically located near transport infrastructure

The improvement in connectivity and journey times across the corridor, together with the associated opportunities for regeneration being explored in the Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Program, improve the capacity of the transport network for the increased productivity of land uses.

Enhance movements across the Parramatta Road corridor which are currently restricted

Reductions in eastbound and westbound traffic volumes provide opportunities for increased cross movements along the corridor. Delays are forecast to substantially reduce at the majority of intersections assessed.

Integrate with the preceding and proposed future stages of WestConnex, without creating significant impacts on the surrounding environment or duplicating any potential issues across the construction periods

In its initial stages of construction, the project would overlap with the M4 Widening and the King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade projects, and substantially overlaps with construction of the New M5. Only the M4 Widening project uses similar access routes to the construction ancillary facilities, and the staggering of construction periods results in completion of a significant proportion of the M4 Widening works before construction intensifies on the M4 East project. Minimal cumulative impacts would therefore be likely, relative to the full construction peak of the project itself.

The project provides the connection between the M4 Widening and M4–M5 Link projects through the mainline tunnel connection. The design accommodates the ultimate construction of the M4–M5 Link through the construction of stub tunnels and the interim layout on Wattle Street. No significant impact or overlap has therefore been identified relating to the future WestConnex stages.

8.5 Assessment of cumulative impacts

8.5.1 Construction

Based on current information, elements of the construction program would occur simultaneously with three other WestConnex projects:

  • King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade
  • M4 Widening
  • New M5 (subject to planning approval).

The King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade is scheduled for completion by the second quarter of 2017. While there is a small time overlap with the beginning of project construction, heavy vehicle and other access routes are not expected to converge, so there would be minimal potential for cumulative impacts.

M4 Widening construction works are scheduled for completion by the end of December 2016. Construction haul routes and vehicle access routes are expected to be similar to the project given the location and nature of construction. This would result in a small overlap between the commencement of construction of the project and the completion of construction on the M4 Widening. The workforce demand profile for the project suggests that vehicle movements would increase from about 20 per cent of peak construction in the first quarter of 2016, to 80 per cent in the third quarter. During this period, construction vehicle movements related to the M4 Widening would reduce, as the majority of work sites would be completed by the end of the second quarter. As a result, the combined impact during this period is expected to be less than during the peak construction period for the project alone.

Subject to planning approval, the New M5 currently has a projected construction timetable extending from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2019. This is a delay of about six months behind the project. There is therefore a large overlap between the construction periods for the two projects. Preliminary information indicates that the majority of heavy vehicle and other routes associated with the New M5 would use the existing M5 corridor and therefore have a limited potential for cumulative impact with the project.

A discussion of the cumulative impacts resulting from other projects is included in section 26.5.1 (Cumulative impacts). In summary, there are currently no other major projects whose construction would significantly increase traffic volumes and patterns along the Parramatta Road corridor (within the project area) during the construction period.

Construction volumes associated with minor works are anticipated to have a negligible impact similar to that of daily or seasonal variations in traffic volumes and patterns.

8.5.2 Operation

The operational traffic modelling for the 2031 ‘do something’ scenario assumes the completion of all WestConnex projects. This therefore represents a cumulative traffic impact assessment for WestConnex.

8.6 Management of impacts

8.6.1 Project design features that manage impacts

Layout changes to the existing road network have been proposed to complement and/or mitigate the impacts of the project within the project design. These
include:

  • Provision of a northbound right turn bay on Concord Road approaching the Patterson Street intersection, to reduce northbound queuing downstream of the M4 East northbound off-ramp
  • Removal of the existing Concord Road northbound on-ramp connecting to the existing M4 westbound and provision of the Powells Creek on-ramp to access the M4 westbound, to reduce the volume of westbound Parramatta Road traffic turning right into Concord Road
  • Removal of the left turn to the existing M4 westbound for eastbound Parramatta Road traffic and provision of a new Concord Road southbound on-ramp connecting to the existing M4 westbound. This will reduce the volume of southbound Concord Road traffic turning left into Parramatta Road
  • Lane utilisation changes on the southbound approach of Concord Road to Parramatta Road resulting in the creation of a double right turn bay and a shared through and left lane. This helps accommodate additional right turn demand created by the southbound off-ramp
  • Provision of an additional right turn bay on the westbound approach of Parramatta Road to Concord Road to cater for additional right turn demand to the eastbound on-ramp
  • Westbound lane utilisation changes on Parramatta Road approaching the existing M4 and Concord Road. Two continuing lanes will be provided with a single right turn lane to the existing M4, reflecting a change in the balance of demand for westbound traffic
  • New right turn provision from Wattle Street to Ramsay Street (eastbound) for Wattle Street surface traffic that will not be able to use the existing right turn at Waratah Avenue.

8.6.2 Road network optimisation

Management of road network assets is a key function of Roads and Maritime which uses network and corridor planning strategies to best manage and enhance these assets to maximise community benefits. Network and corridor planning is a process aimed at enhancing the capacity to manage and enhance the road network to meet community expectations. Integrated network and corridor planning processes are a critical input to working towards the vision of “a safe sustainable and efficient road transport system”. The process involves a few key elements including:

  • Setting network and corridor objectives in line with NSW and Australian Government strategies and community expectations
  • Analysing anticipated performance against appropriate safety, traffic and asset measures
  • Identifying strategic priorities to achieve appropriate safety, traffic and asset performance over the longer term within the context of limited funding.

As a key part of network management, network and/or corridor optimisation is a key tool in the management of project impacts. Together with the ongoing development of the Roads and Maritime Pinch Point Program targeting peak hour traffic hotspots, and other infrastructure measures, it facilitates the management of impacts identified in section 8.4 to ensure that travel time savings are maintained to the greatest extent possible by minimising intersection and midblock delays.

In addition to an optimisation strategy and potential infrastructure provision, the maintenance of the existing traffic control system is a key ingredient in providing Roads and Maritime with the tools to appropriately manage congestion on the network. A review of existing SCATS infrastructure at key intersections in the study area, including detectors, will be undertaken and upgrades will be implemented where appropriate.

To manage impacts identified in section 8.4, a number of network optimisation techniques have been identified, along with upgrades requiring civil works, funding and further investigation. These are identified in Table 8.17 (measures OpTT2 and OpTT4). These techniques and upgrades do not form part of the project but are recommended as measures considered appropriate to mitigate the impacts identified in this assessment. Additional changes may be proposed and implemented by Roads and Maritime following the operational traffic review identified in Table 8.17 (measure OpTT1).

8.6.3 Environmental management measures

Environmental management measures relating to traffic and transport are outlined in Table 8.17.

Table 8.17 Environmental management measures – traffic and transport
Impact No. Environmental management measure Responsibility Timing
Construction
General TT1 A Traffic Management and Safety Plan (TMSP) will be prepared as part of the construction environmental management plan (CEMP), in consultation with the relevant road authority, local councils, emergency services, road user groups and pedestrian and bicycle groups. The TMSP will include the guidelines, general requirements and principles of traffic management to be implemented during construction. It will be prepared in accordance with Austroads Guide to Road Design (with appropriate Roads and Maritime supplements), the RTA Traffic Control at Work Sites manual and AS1742.3: Manual of uniform traffic control devices – Part 3:Traffic control for works on roads, and any other relevant standard, guide or manual. It will seek to minimise delays and disruptions, and identify and respond to any changes in road safety as a result of highway construction works. Construction Contractor Pre-construction
TT2 The TMSP will include:

  • A traffic route and haulage management plan
  • Site traffic and access management plans
  • An incident response plan
  • A detailed travel management plan for construction staff at the various worksites, in consultation with local councils and stakeholders associated with the sporting facilities adjacent to the project site. This will include the promotion of public transport and car-pooling to reduce work site-related vehicle movements, and also investigate feasible options for the provision of off-site car parking to reduce parking on local roads.
Construction Contractor Construction
Impacts to road network performance (delays) and safety TT3 Construction and temporary works will be staged to avoid conflicts with the existing road network and maximise spatial separation between work areas and travel lanes. Construction Contractor Construction
TT4 Analyse traffic volume data to identify capacity requirements, assess the potential impact of lane occupancies on traffic flows, plan lane occupancies to minimise the work area, and identify the best time to minimise inconvenience to road users. Restrictions and obstructions will be limited, road capacities maximised and peak traffic periods avoided where possible. Construction Contractor Construction
TT5 Temporary closed-circuit television (CCTV) and variable message signs (VMS) will be provided to link with the existing TMC network to facilitate monitoring and management of impacts Construction Contractor Construction
TT6 Throughout construction, consultation with the Transport Management Centre will be undertaken to ensure impacts to traffic flows are minimised. Construction Contractor / Roads and Maritime Construction
TT7 Road occupancy licences will be obtained for work that impacts traffic on existing roads in accordance with the requirements of council or Roads and Maritime. Construction Contractor Construction
Impacts on pedestrians and cyclists TT8 Pedestrian and cyclist access will be maintained where possible throughout construction. Where not feasible, alternate routes will be provided and communicated to the community. Construction Contractor Prior to construction commencing
Impacts on public transport TT9 Changes in bus stops will be undertaken in consultation with Transport for NSW and bus operators, with the community informed of any potential changes in advance. Construction Contractor Construction
Impacts to access TT10 Local road closures will be managed and adequate property access will be maintained. Where road closures are required, reasonable and practical alternate traffic routes will be provided and communicated to the community. This will be undertaken in consultation with Roads and Maritime, local councils and property owners likely to be affected. Construction Contractor Construction
Impacts on existing road surfaces TT11 A Road Dilapidation Report will be prepared and will include identification of the existing conditions of local roads and mechanisms to repair any damage caused by the project. Construction Contractor Pre-construction and post-construction
Impacts to emergency services TT12 The TMSP will be developed in consultation with local emergency services and procedures will be implemented to maintain priority access and a safe environment will be maintained for emergency vehicles to travel through construction areas. Construction Contractor Construction
TT13 Local emergency services will be frequently updated on the staging and progress of construction works. Construction Contractor Construction
Operation
Confirmation of assessed impacts OpTT1 An operational traffic review will be undertaken 12 months after the opening of the project to confirm the operational impacts of the project on surrounding arterial roads and major intersections. This review will be undertaken by a suitably qualified traffic consultant that is independent of the design and studies undertaken as part of the EIS. Roads and maritime 12 months from start of operation
Network and corridor optimisation OpTT2 A network and corridor optimisation approach will be adopted to manage delay and queuing impacts with optimisation works occurring at the following locations:

  • Parramatta Road/George Street intersection in Homebush/North Strathfield
  • Concord Road corridor between Patterson Street and Parramatta Road in Concord
  • Parramatta Road/Shaftesbury Road intersection in Burwood/Concord (post M4-M5 Link opening)
  • Dobroyd Parade/Timbrell Drive intersection in Haberfield
  • Parramatta Road/Great NorthRoad intersection in Croydon/Five Dock (post M4–M5 Link opening)
  • Parramatta Road/Wattle Street intersection in Ashfield/Haberfield (post M4–M5 Link opening)
  • Parramatta Road(east of Bland Street)
  • Parramatta Road/Crystal Street/Balmain Road in Leichhardt/Petersham
  • Sydney Olympic Park access. Further detail of the proposed optimisation is outlined in Section 10.2.3 of the Traffic and Transport Assessment in Appendix G.
Roads and maritime Operation
Maintenance of existing network OpTT3 A review of existing SCATS infrastructure at key intersections in the study area, including detectors, will be undertaken and upgrades will be implemented where appropriate to improve any impacts resulting from the project. Roads and maritime Operation
Network upgrades OpTT4 The following network upgrades will be investigated in consultation with relevant local councils, Roads and Maritime and affected communities:

  • Conversion of Mortley Avenue to entry only (except buses) at the Timbrell Drive / Dobroyd Parade intersection, with an additional entry lane to facilitate amended lane utilisation on the Timbrell Drive approach. Layout amendments could be required on Mortley Avenue which will need to consider impacts on existing parking provision, the location of the bus stop and some existing mature trees
  • Extension of left turn bay from Dobroyd Parade to Timbrell Avenue providing additional capacity for traffic reassigned from Mortley Avenue via Waratah Avenue and Dobroyd Parade
  • Provision of additional short lane on the Timbrell Drive approach to Dobroyd Parade potentially facilitated by using the old footpath area which is currently being replaced by the construction of a footbridge (subject to bridge assessment). The additional capacity will allow a greater share of green time for Dobroyd Parade movements
  • Provision of a new signalised left turn slip lane from Parramatta Road to Wattle Street to accommodate the high number of movements to the M4- M5 tunnel in the PM peak
  • Increase in parking restrictions on the southbound side of Great North Road to provide increased capacity.

Further detail of the identified network upgrades is outlined in Section 10.2.3 of the Traffic and Transport Assessment in Appendix G.

Roads and maritime Operation
OpTT5 The following network upgrades will be investigated in consultation with relevant local councils, Roads and Maritime and affected communities, and implemented as and when required based on traffic growth and changing traffic patterns:

  • Enablingrightturnmovementsfrom the kerbside lane from George Street southbound to Parramatta Road
  • Extensionofparkingrestrictionson the southern (westbound) side of Ramsay Street between Wattle Street and Walker Avenue
  • Reassignmentofthesecondrightturn lane on the Wattle Street westbound approach to Parramatta Road post opening of the M4–M5 Link, to provide an additional right turn bay for traffic exiting the M4–M5 Link and leaving a single right turn lane from Wattle Street
  • Creationofadoublerightturnonthe Wattle Street westbound approach to Ramsay Street post opening of the M4–M5 Link. This could be achieved by reallocating the right hand through lane, leaving a single through/left lane.
Roads and maritime Operation
Smart motorways OpTT6 Smart motorway management will be considered for implementation within the project tunnel and associated ramps and approaches. Roads and maritime / Motorway operator Operation
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3 thoughts on “Traffic and transport: WestConnex M4 East Environmental Impact Statement

  1. 5 The project represents lost opportunity for better transport investment
    As mentioned earlier, it is a tragedy for Sydney and NSW that the rational initiatives put forward by Ms Berejilian in the NSW Transport Master plan have been cast aside for this flawed project.
    Alternatives that would have been regarded as long term assets as put forward by EcoTransit in their recent newspaper :
    • Parramatta – focused light rail network.
    • Modernise rail signaling to increase increase capacity
    • East – West Translink – extending light rail network from Dulwich Hill through to the Airpor using unused rail space
    • Kinsgrove “Last chance” Park & Ride
    • Retrofit two extra stations at Airport Line
    • Buyback the Airport line and reduce train fares to standard rates at the Airport stations and also removing the anti-competition clause
    • Sydney-Newcastle rail line upgrade (stage 1)
    • Parramatta Road Light Rail (CBD to Olympic Park)
    • White Bay GreenLink
    • Cycling storage at selected stations to complement a rail and ride concept
    • More rail capacity and frequent services for the Western Sydney Rail Line
    • Pippita Express Solution using spare rail space
    The combined cost of all of these projects come in significantly less than $15 billion and would make a genuine dent in the problem of road congestion. These projects particularly would soak up much of the single passenger vehicles off the M4 and M5, clearing the road significantly for tradies and freight.

    The science is clear – Faster road network speed depends on faster public transport. Take for example the recently built Gold Coast Tram. Patronage on the tram was delightfully beyond expectations. As a result, the performance of the parallel Gold Coast Hwy also significantly improved.
    This is genuinely a tragedy to Sydney and NSW, particularly taking into account the WDA boast contained the King Georges Road M5 interchange (page v in volume 1) that “Sydney’s network will improve by one kmph on completion of the entire project”. Wow. Or more to the point, rather an underwhelming outcome.
    I therefore reject the WestConnex project in its entirety, as it represents a tragic loss to the people of NSW in honestly addressing the congestion issues of Sydney.

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  2. I totally agree with the above statement. The whole project is flawed. I am still in disbelief that they would build sn unfiltered smoke stack within 100 metres of The Infants Home that caters for children with special needs from ages 0-5. Not to mention the local public schools residents and community members who will be adversely affected by exhaust fumes and traffic. Absolutely disgraceful.

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