Road transport groups have called for the NSW Government to re-instate access ramps for heavy vehicles at Canal Road, St Peters to the design of Sydney Gateway, so that the project delivers the promised safety and efficiency benefits for the freight industry and for the local community.
Taking a lead, the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) along with Australian Trucking Association (ATA), Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA), Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA), Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) and Shipping Australia Limited (SAL) will highlight the the issue at the ALC & ATA Supply Chain Safety Summit starting today in Sydney, where attendees will hear how the decision of the NSW Government to withdraw the ramps poses a risk to the safety of local residents and road users, and undermines efforts to reduce road congestion in the Port Botany – Sydney Airport precinct.
“When Gateway was first proposed several years ago, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) had designed ramps to service the Cooks River Intermodal Terminal – which is Australia’s largest empty container park and a significant rail intermodal freight hub - directly from Gateway,” said Kirk Coningham ALC CEO.
“This was a sensible approach, given that ramps at Canal Road would remove at least 1,600 truck movements a day from local roads. This would improve road safety, reduce congestion and enhance community amenity around Mascot, where the residential population has grown exponentially over recent years due to high-density apartment developments,” he said.
“However, RMS subsequently decided to remove these ramps from the Gateway design, citing cost concerns. We believe this is short-sighted and significantly diminishes the potential freight benefits of the Gateway project by contributing to gridlock on local roads in attempting to service NSW’s key international container port.”
The Gateway is due for completion by 2023 and will run from an interchange for the WestConnex toll road at St Peters to Sydney Airport and closer to Port Botany at a cost of $2.6 billion.
According to Coningham it will isolate Australia's largest empty container park from this new major port road artery, and will condemn local Mascot residents to ongoing truck noise, safety and emission issues.
“If Sydney Gateway is to fully deliver its intended benefits of reducing road congestion in and around Port Botany and Sydney Airport, it is essential that the heavy vehicle access ramps at Canal Road be reinstated to the design prior to the commencement of construction,” said Coningham.
“We call on RMS and the NSW Government to work cooperatively and expeditiously with industry to resolve this issue, and ensure Sydney Gateway fully delivers on its promise of reduced congestion, better road safety and enhanced productivity, for freight operators and for all those who rely on the vital economic precinct around Port Botany and Sydney Airport.”
(Image: Kirk Coningham, ALC CEO).