WestConnex - the road we have to have

In the late 1940's the Cumberland County Council revolutionised how planning was being done for a big chunk of metropolitan Sydney. They included long term planning for major roads and set aside strategic corridors for future motorways, the need for a road corridor for what we know as the M4 today was foreseen by visionary people in 1951.

Less visionary was the actions of former Labor Premier Neville Wran who sold off the last bit of the corridor between Strathfield and Pyrmont in the 1970s.  The legacy has been unbearable traffic congestion in the inner west of Sydney, stunted economic growth for the Sydney economy and a substantial decrease in the quality of living of inner west families.

There are many reasons why we need the WestConnex but the one compelling reason that drives me to advocate for its construction has been a simple one. The WestConnex will finally see the construction of the most critical missing link in our road network. Without it the rest of Sydney's road network has been operating at far less efficiency, without it public transport has been adversely affected, without it the local amenity of Sydney's inner west has been degrading, without it travel times have been increasing for motorists and public transport users, without it Parramatta Rd remains an eyesore and an under-utilised asset, without it trucks continue to travel on our local roads creating hazards and without it those that foresaw the need so many years ago are still turning in their graves!

Stage 1 will involve the duplication of the M4 from  Parramatta to Strathfield concurrent with the construction of the tunnel from Strathfield to Ashfield.  I have made it known that I will not accept the opening of the Parramatta to Strathfield duplication before the tunnel is completed as I do not want more traffic being dumped into Strathfield in the morning peak.

I am excited at the opportunities for our electorate with the construction of WestConnex. Yes it will involve a certain disruption to our community, it will require patience and understanding, and most of all it will require that we focus on the longer-term and massive benefits that our community will enjoy.

I am actively encouraging our local Councils to get involved in the planning and consultation processes and to focus on local issues such as better access to commercial and recreational centres, enhancing access to local businesses, improving community safety, improving commuter car parking and creating pedestrian corridors. 

Bring it on, the faster the better!

 

Charles Casuscelli 


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