MEDIA RELEASE: Official figures show Westconnex is a huge waste

Media Release – 10 September 2015

Greens WestConnex spokesperson and MP for Newtown Jenny Leong said today that the government’s own figures prove that the $15.4 billion WestConnex motorway project allegedly being built to ease traffic congestion for western Sydney will be a complete waste of taxpayer money.

Ms Leong was commenting after an initial review of the Environmental Impact Statement for the M4 East tunnel section of Westconnex, which went on display yesterday.

The full EIS can be found here: http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=6307

“In the brief time we’ve had to review this huge document one thing absolutely leaps out. The whole WestConnex project will fail to fix Sydney traffic congestion.

“The figures show that even when operating at its peak, motorists will get little benefit. If the project doesn’t go ahead, average weekday speeds on a key section of the M4 at Homebush Bay Drive are projected to be 66kph in 2021. If the road is built, projected speeds increase to just 69kph. And by 2031 projections show that they’ll be back at 66kph.

“What this appears to mean is that a commuter travelling between Homebush Bay Drive and Concord Rd can hope to gain a saving of six seconds at best.

“It’s what transport experts have warned all along. Build more roads and you attract more cars. WestConnex is not the solution to Sydney’s traffic congestion, it’s a waste. Or as Elizabeth Farrelly puts it in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, a white elephant.”

“While Westconnex is supposed to reduce traffic on Parramatta Rd, based on the report’s own projections it appears that demand will continue to outweigh capacity. There will be more cars than road space.

“There’s no doubt that this is just the first of many disturbing truths that will surface as the Greens, community groups and environmental experts continue to analyse the 120 pages and 89 attachments of this EIS.

“Alarmingly, this Environmental Impact Statement only covers Stage 1 of the project, but appears to make many assumptions based on the completion of the full project despite the fact that no business case nor planning approval has been prepared for Stage 2 or 3.

“It’s outrageous that the government continues to bulldoze ahead in the face of their own damning figures,” she said.


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