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Replacing the long and winding South Coast train line is one of the projects that feature in the NSW government’s long-range transport plan.
Also making the wishlist of projects for the region is a road bypass of Mt Ousley and a link between Wollongong and the Hume Motorway.
This week Transport Minister Andrew Constance released the Future Transport 2056 draft strategy
“Five years ago, we provided a blueprint about what transport would begin to look like over the next 20 years,” Mr Constance said.
“With most of those projects either being built now or in planning, it is time to refresh the blueprint given what we’ve achieved.
“This time we’re looking at what’s possible over the next 40 years, not 20.”
The plan lists a range of projects and places them into a time-frame for investigations to begin – 0-10 years, 10-20 years and more than 20 years.
A Transport for NSW spokesman said the draft strategy looked to improve the much-criticised South Coast line.
“The South Coast line has been earmarked in the strategy over the coming 10 years for investigations into flattening grades, straightening curves and a potential new rail crossing through the Illawarra escarpment,” the spokesman said.
Other plans for the next 10 years include improvements to Picton and Appin roads, as well as work on the freight rail line between Moss Vale and Unanderra.
The government plan also states the next 10 years should see the introduction of the Bus Headstart program, which will look to ensure new estates get bus routes as soon as residents begin living there.
The government’s vision for the region over the 10-20 year period would include electrifying the rail line between Bomaderry and Nowra, starting work on the much-talked about Maldon-Dombarton line and early investigations for a new road crossing of the escarpment to bypass Mt Ousley.
The Transport for NSW spokesman said it was far too early to consider the likely location of the Mt Ousley Bypass.
“Transport for NSW recognises the importance of stronger east-west connectivity and as part of that we have identified for investigation in the 10 to 20 year timeframe, options to create a high-capacity road solution for traffic crossing the Illawarra escarpment,” the Transport for NSW spokesman said.
“This is the first step in a long process, so it is simply too early to rule in or out how the final project might look.”
A long, long way into the future is an outer Sydney orbital road that would link the Illawarra to the Hume Motorway.
This article first appeared on www.illawarramercury.com.au
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