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NSW releases Newcastle region transport plan

The New South Wales government has identified three pivotal projects for freight in its newly released Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan.


The New South Wales government has identified three pivotal projects for freight in its newly released Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan.

The projects aim to protect freight arteries in a region facing sustained population growth in order to ward off inappropriate development impacting on them.

The three projects for the coming decade are:

  • Lower Hunter Freight Corridor Protection – A future dedicated freight rail line to be constructed between Fassifern and Hexham, bypassing Newcastle while improving regional and interstate links
  • Newcastle Inner City Bypass, Rankin Park to Jesmond – a 3.4km bypass between Rankin Park and Jesmond, to the west of John Hunter Hospital. The project includes new northern and southern interchanges and a western entrance to John Hunter Hospital. A pedestrian bridge is also being constructed over the road to the east of the northern interchange to replace a set of pedestrian signals. The pedestrian bridge is expected to start construction in mid-2019
  • M1, Hexham, Raymond Terrace upgrades – upgrades to the strategic network of primary freight routes comprising of the New England Highway, M1 Pacific Motorway through to the Pacific Highway at Raymond Terrace and the strategic junction with the New England Highway and Hexham Straight.

More general freight corridor protection would be investigated in that time along with last mile freight delivery issues.

Read about the related NSW Ports and Freight Plan, here

With the region home to 7.5 per cent of the state population but 9 per cent of the road toll, one of the five “key actions” for the safety target will be to “work with the heavy vehicle industry to develop a new heavy vehicle strategy to improve operational safety and increase the uptake of safety technology”, sitting alongside infrastructure upgrades and speed limit changes.

Technology will get a look-in, with the Centre for Road Safety’s Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) looking like being transferred there.

“Based in the Illawarra region of NSW, the trial has fitted C-ITS technology to up to 60 trucks; 11 public buses; 2 light vehicles and 1 motorcycle,” the transport plan states.

“The trial includes 3 signalised intersections, broadcasting signal phase information to C-ITS equipped vehicles; 1 portable roadside unit broadcasting speed limit information to C-ITS equipped vehicles and 3 portable roadside units receiving and collecting data from C-ITS equipped vehicles.

“These devices allow drivers in participating vehicles to see the following messages:

  • intersection collision warning
  • harsh braking ahead warning
  • red light alert when light is red or amber speed limit information.

Meanwhile, the government continues to speak of a cargo future for the port that ignores the vexed and controversial question of its container claims.

The full plan can be found here.


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