WestConnex – a major infrastructure project to build tunnels, multi-layered interchanges and 4-6 lane highways to ease the congestion of driving around Sydney in years to come.
Sounds exciting? A relief from the hours spent trying to drive from one part of the city to another?
That’s what the NSW Government wants you to believe. But the reality is very different.
WHAT IS WESTCONNEX?
WestConnex is a 33-kilometre toll road proposed by the NSW Government and backed by the Federal Government.
Plans for the toll road are yet to be confirmed and change frequently. But right now, it involves:
• Widening the M4 between Parramatta and Homebush (Stage 1a, M4 Widening: Tolling begins mid-2017)
• Building a tunnel from Homebush to Haberfield (M4 East, Stage 1b)
• Duplicating the M5 East, including construction of the St Peters Interchange and widening of Campbell Street, Campbell Road and Euston Road in St Peters (New M5, Stage 2)
• Building a tunnel between Haberfield and St Peters, which will run under Haberfield, Leichhardt, Annandale, Camperdown, Newtown and Enmore with a “connection” in the Rozelle rail yards (M4-M5 Link, Stage 3)
The cost of building WestConnex has now blown out to $16.8 billion. However, given this cost excludes property acquisitions, "network enhancements" such as the many associated road widenings around the St Peters Interchange, and more, the real cost is certain to be much higher.
WHY WESTCONNEX WON’T WORK
1. WestCONnex won't solve traffic congestion.
The evidence is clear: when you build more roads, you increase traffic congestion. In fact, you’re more likely to reduce traffic congestion if you take roads away.
This is because of what economists call “induced demand”: building roads simply encourages more people to get in their cars and drive.
It’s why all the motorways that were once touted as the next big solution to Sydney’s traffic congestion – from the M2 and M5 motorways, to the Anzac Bridge and the Sydney Harbour Tunnel – ended up operating at capacity not long after they opened.
Even the Berejiklian Government’s figures show it’ll only be a short-term fix. It’ll also worsen traffic on other roads as drivers rat-run to avoid the tolls.
2. WestCONnex tolls will cost up to $11 each way.
So driving to work on WestCONnex would cost you up to $100 a week.
3. WestCONnex won’t reduce travel times.
Most drivers will save just 2.5 minutes or less, even if the full WestCONnex is built.*
4. WestCONnex will worsen air pollution.
These pollutants cause cancers, multiple diseases, and impaired lung development in children.
5. WestCONnex will stifle economic growth.
Again, the evidence is clear: the idea that building roads promotes economic growth is a myth.
Instead, leading infrastructure experts are now warning that Australian cities will become less productive and competitive than their global rivals unless they start investing in public transport over roads.
What’s more, investing in public transport, hospitals and schools creates many more jobs than building roads at a far lower cost, and a much higher public benefit.
6. WestCONnex is a waste.
The billions being spent on WestCONnex is money that’s not being spent on fixing public transport, schools, hospitals and more - not just in western Sydney, but across NSW.
WestConnex is NOT a done deal. Join us and demand better for Sydney. Together we can stop WestCONnex!