The NSW government persists with a 1960s delusion that building more expressways will reduce traffic congestion. An early product of Infrastructure NSW, then chaired by former premier Nick Greiner, was a plan to lower Parramatta Road between about Burwood and Camperdown into a trench, raze the surroundings, then build thousands of high-rise flats facing the trench. Meanwhile, the trench would continue south in tunnel to about St Peters where it would join the M5-East tunnel system. Watch this EcoTransit video for a flyover.
The plan was modified and received many embellishments. Westconnex is now a generic term covering a multitude of sins at locations near and far from its original route. Westconnex even includes a very expensive road tunnel planned to go under the harbour and ultimately to about Balgowlah. The intention could be to privatise each stage of Westconnex as it is finished, using the money raised to build the next stage.
Some useful information about Westconnex is at http://westconnex.info/.
Action for Public Transport has a candid consultant's report on Westconnex.
Also see this comprehensive analysis of the M4East EIS.
Professor Peter Newman was on the board of Infrastructure Australia. See his assessment of the Westconnex project. He makes the key link between the need for better freight access and the boost to car use to pay for most of it, in complete contravention of the polycentric metropolitan strategy.
On 16 February 2016, Infrastructure Australia published its Australian Infrastructure Plan, covering the next 15 years. It remarked that no business case has been published for Westconnex. Why not? - construction started many months ago. Learn more ...
The NSW Auditor-General had a look at the project and wasn't very complimentary. Learn more ...
Later, the Australian National Audit Office looked into the funding and wasn't impressed with the lack of care taken with public money. Learn more...
Clover Moore commissioned an independent study on the project.
Read the full report or a synopsis.
Or read the summary report on traffic modelling which shows that traffic conditions in many places, including important parts of Parramatta Rd, will actually be worsened by Westconnex due to toll evasion and other issues. Clover wrote an opinion piece for the SMHerald, published in February 2016. Learn more ...
See what Elizabeth Farrelly had to say on the subject.
The CEO of the Committee of Sydney has swung against Westconnex - see this presentation by Dr Tim Williams on 23 April 2015. Unfortunately his bosses found out and he had to recant.
A 2016 paper published by the University of Sydney says "in the case of the last decade with Australia’s roads alone it is estimated up to $63 billion of projects may have had no impact on economic output." Learn more ...
The new Andrews government of Victoria released documents which the preceding Napthine government claimed to be a business case for its proposed Melbourne East-West road tunnel. The NSW government should release its case for building Westconnex.
Read the Sydney Morning Herald's editorial of 4 May 2015 which welcomes the increasing debate on Westconnex.
See Inner West Council's web page on Westconnex and Parramatta Road urban renewal. You can download the council's flyer here and sign the online petition here.
Watch this three-part Eco-Transit Sydney video series examining the project and preferable alternatives as envisaged in 2013.
Watch this video series about saving Wolli Creek which is once more under threat (from Westconnex of course):
Watch this video about saving Cooks River - Castlereagh Ironbark Forest from becoming a depot for earthmoving equipment working on Westconnex.
And watch Carmageddon - WestConnex assaults the inner suburbs (January 2017)
Read the newsletter from Eco-Transit Sydney here.
Not all motorists are happy about so much money going into one project. Learn more...
The westconnex mob want to take over the former White Bay rail yard quietly so they've renamed it Rozelle Rail Yards and have offered to clean it up. See https://www.westconnex.com.au/review-environmental-factors-rozelle-rail-yards-site-management-works.
The project has been so controversial around the inner suburbs that on 29 January 2017 the new Premier (Gladys Berejiklian) removed Westconnex from the Roads ministry and put it in the Western Sydney ministry. The hope is that Western Sydney voters will appreciate Westconnex. Whether it makes their travel easier remains to be seen but the restored tolls commencing in mid-2017 will certainly be noticed. The cashback system which applied to the former tolls won't revive however the NSW government announced car registration concessions on 20 November 2017. These extend to free registration on cars that spend over $25 per week on tolls. The concessions might mollify drivers but increase the public contribution to Westconnex.
Other relevant sites: