Saturday, April 13, 2024

Illawarra-Shoalhaven transport plan on track

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has released the final Illawarra-Shoalhaven Regional Transport Plan, which outlines how it will respond to the transport needs of the region between now and 2041.

The plan has been developed by TfNSW in conjunction with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s (DPIE) Illawarra-Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 and identifies the necessary infrastructure, services and policy interventions required to articulate the vision at the local level.

The plan comprises 71 initiatives, which include more trains between Wollongong and the Sydney CBD, improved bus connections, a $1.9 billion upgrade for the Princes Highway, better road safety, and the promotion of emission-free vehicles and active transport options.

Key goals of the vision include:

  • One in every five (20%) trips will be made by walking, cycling or public transport across the region by 2041;
  • Increased population within a 30 minute public transport trip of a regionally significant centre – Metro Wollongong, Shellharbour City Centre, Kiama, Nowra-Bomaderry, Milton‑Ulladulla;
  • Improved connectivity between the Illawarra-Shoalhaven and Greater Sydney, with a particular focus on the connection with Western Sydney;
  • Crash rates are reduced in-line with the NSW-wide “Towards Zero” goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads by 2056;
  • Increased access for High Productivity Vehicles (HPV) across the region to support “moving more with less”;
  • Increased uptake of emissions-free vehicles in-line with the NSW Government target of net zero emissions by 2050;
  • Greater use of technology to support a safer, more efficient, and accessible transport network.

“By 2041, an extra 100,000 people are projected to call the Illawarra-Shoalhaven home, increasing the total population of the region to 505,000 people. New regionally significant precincts will deliver new homes, jobs and services for the growing population, influencing localised travel behaviour and demand,” the TfNSW plan states.

“The need for efficient, reliable and safe connectivity between the Illawarra-Shoalhaven and Greater Sydney will continue to grow, with the connection to Western Sydney increasing in importance as the Western Sydney Aerotropolis expands.”

It said the regional freight task would continue to grow over the next 20 years, particularly with the Port Kembla identified as a future container terminal and potential hub for hydrogen production and export.

“To support this expansion, surrounding road and rail networks will need to embrace technology-driven solutions, and address first mile/last mile limitations.”

“Under existing conditions, the car is the dominant mode of travel across the Illawarra-Shoalhaven. For many people across the region, a lack of access to viable alternatives to the private vehicle amplifies this trend. The need to increase modal choice for more people, more often will deliver a future that is both more customer focused and sustainable.

“Finally, with electric vehicles forecast to reach upfront price parity with traditional combustion engine vehicles in Australia from 2024, the need to effectively plan and support the regional transition of the the transport network and associated fleet towards a low emissions future must be addressed.”


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