Enhancing regional connections
By 2056 the combined population of Greater Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong will be approximately 10 million. Greater Sydney's regional connections to Wollongong and the Illawarra Region are provided by the South Coast Rail Line and the Princes Highway/M1 which traverse the South District. Improving north-south connections between the five cities will allow greater opportunities for residents of all cities to access a wider range of jobs opportunities and enhance their productivity.
Sydney Airport, Port Botany and Port Kembla are important trade gateways. Enhanced new road and rail connections connecting Port Kembla to Port Botany, Sydney Airport and the strategic freight networks of Greater Sydney will cross the South District.
The NSW Government is investing in or has committed to a number of initiatives to expand the strategic freight network. WestConnex and Sydney Gateway in the Eastern City District will effectively boost capacity on the M5 corridor in the South District, better connecting Port Botany and the freight precincts in Western Sydney. Planning is underway for the F6 Extension linking the M5 near Sydney Airport and the Princes Highway at Loftus. Although the northern parts of this connection are in the Eastern City District, this connection will provide better access for people and goods travelling between southern Sydney, the Illawarra and other parts of Greater Sydney and ease congestion on the local road network.
Improving north-south connections between Greater Sydney and Wollongong will allow residents to access wider job opportunities and enhance business to business links. Equally, improved connections will provide greater choices for where people can choose to live and, in the long term, increase growth management choices.
Efficient and reliable journeys are supported by the separation of freight and passenger movements wherever possible, particularly on public transport corridors.
Plans to improve the Southern Sydney Freight Line, which runs through the District's north west, will increase capacity to accommodate freight movements between Port Botany and Port Kembla, intermodal terminals at Chullora and Villawood, and customers across Greater Sydney.
Improvements outside the District to the Maldon-Dombarton freight rail link will free capacity on the South Coast Rail Line between the Illawarra and Greater Sydney.
As the South District grows, the need for freight movements, particularly delivery vehicles, will rise. Freight movements can have negative impacts such as noise and additional congestion on roads, particularly during the morning peak. Freight movements outside the peak can help reduce congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and freight costs. The planning and design of communities should minimise the negative impacts of freight movements and support more efficient freight movements. This could include considering how development addresses busy roads, the siting of loading docks and how more freight movements can happen out of peak hours.
Much of the Kurnell Peninsula is under Sydney Airport's main southern flight path, which takes 55 per cent of all the Airport's flights and is the only flight path with no night curfew. This freight corridor must be protected. A state-wide approach to implementing the National Airports Safeguarding Framework is being developed by the NSW Department of Environment and Planning.
Delivering a 30-minute city and improving connections between strategic centres
The 30-minute city is a long-term aspiration that will guide decision-making on locations for new transport, housing, jobs, tertiary education, hospitals and other amenities. Future Transport 2056 and A Metropolis of Three Cities propose a well-connected city, based on the concept of a 30-minute city, where most people can travel to their nearest metropolitan and strategic centre by public transport within 30 minutes.
It means that more housing, jobs, health and education facilities will be planned in metropolitan and strategic centres and more people will have public transport access to their closest metropolitan or strategic centre within 30 minutes. This will enable more efficient access to workplaces, services and community facilities.
Greater Sydney transitions to a metropolis of three cities, convenient and reliable access for customers by public transport to their nearest metropolitan or strategic centre is increasingly important for:
- liveability, reducing the need for long commutes and spreading transport demand
- productivity, reducing the time people spend travelling and increasing people's access to jobs and services
- sustainability, increasing the proportion of trips by public transport and walking or cycling and reducing emissions.
Improved connections between strategic centres in the South District, and to connect South District with strategic centres in Greater Sydney, are important for business to business interactions and access to jobs. These will be supported by enhanced access to public transport at centres.
The Sydney Metro City & Southwest will upgrade and convert the T3 Bankstown Line from Sydenham to Bankstown to metro standards by 2024. The section of the proposed metro between Hurlstone Park and Bankstown stations is in the South District. This will increase the frequency, speed and reliability of services, better linking South District residents with jobs in the Eastern Economic Corridor, which extends from Macquarie Park in the north of Greater Sydney, through the Harbour CBD to Sydney Airport.
Future Transport 2056 and A Metropolis of Three Cities identify short to medium-term initiatives, including city-serving and centre-serving transport initiatives, to provide people in the South District with better transport connections between districts and strategic centres and improve journey times. These include:
- investigation into a higher-capacity cityshaping transport corridor between Hurstville, Kogarah and Parramatta with initial focus on higher capacity bus services and in the medium term potential for a mass transit train link via Bankstown
- investigation into train improvements on the T4 and T8 lines to improve capacity and reliability
- improving service frequencies especially for access to strategic centres
- strategic freight network improvements in other districts that will benefit the South District, including the duplication of the Port Botany Freight Rail (in the Eastern City District) and the completion of the Maldon-Dombarton train link (in the Western City District)
- travel behaviour change programs to help manage demand on the transport network
- on-demand bus services on selected local bus routes, currently being trialled in Bankstown and the Sutherland Shire, to improve the efficiency of the transport network and provide more choices for first and last mile access to the train network
- Heathcote Road improvements to reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and to meet future traffic volumes
- investment in Smart Roads, which will support the financial sustainability of the transport system by better using existing road infrastructure, and enable future forms of mobility such as connected and automated vehicles.
Source: Transport for NSW
Note: Timing, staging and station/stop locations for new corridors are indicative and subject to further assessment.
The city-serving network will provide high-frequency services within approximately 10 kilometres of the metropolitan centres and metropolitan cluster. This will support public transport access within some of the highest density residential areas in Greater Sydney where demand for travel is most concentrated. As these inner urban areas in the three cities develop further, the NSW Government will investigate increasing the reliability and frequency of these public transport services.
The city-serving network enables and supports higher density residential areas by offering convenient and reliable connectivity to key destinations.
The current city-serving network is characterised by scheduled ferry, bus, light rail and train services as well as walking and cycling networks. The network provides access across the Eastern Harbour City and the Central River City and in some centres with the Western Parkland City.
Over the next 10 years the NSW Government has committed to increasing the capacity of the city- serving network. This includes increasing the role of public transport through greater prioritisation of bus services along city-serving corridors and within centres to improve 30-minute access, and investing in priority walking and cycling networks around the centres.
The NSW Government will also investigate improvements to the frequency of public transport services, including more on-demand-services, across all city-serving modes of public transport to improve 30-minute access and support growth.
By 2036, the areas surrounding the Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis will be more urbanised than today. Residents within these areas will require reliable, fast and frequent public transport to access jobs and services. The NSW Government is committed to meeting the transport needs of residents and will investigate how emerging technology and on-demand services will help meet the needs of Western Parkland City residents.
The A3 (King Georges Road) and A6 (New Illawarra Road, Alfords Point Road, Davies Road and Stacey Street) provide important business-to-business connections across the District, connecting Sutherland and Kogarah, Sutherland and Bankstown, and beyond to Parramatta. These are important for connecting residents to centres where they can access public transport, jobs and services.
Future improvements to the strategic road network and key intersections as well as better use of existing infrastructure - including reallocation of road space prioritisation of productive vehicles and creation of better places on and around transport networks - can improve movement through the District and access to strategic centres.
Current WestConnex works will duplicate the existing M5 by providing twin underground motorway tunnels from Kingsgrove to a new St Peters Interchange, improving east-west motorway access and freight movements for Greater Sydney and the District to Sydney Airport, Port Botany and the south west. Upgrades to the M5 Belmore Road ramps will improve access to the M5.
Into the future, opportunities to improve connections across Greater Sydney from the South District may include:
- extension of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest from Bankstown to Liverpool
- new train/mass transit linking the eastern suburbs with Miranda via Kogarah
- potential train/mass transit link from Hurstville/ Kogarah to Macquarie Park via Burwood and Rhodes
- Central City strategic road corridor linking the F6 to Greater Parramatta and NorthConnex.
Safeguarding the next phase of growth
Public transport initiatives must minimise the impact of future corridors on communities. Where possible, the proactive and early reservation of corridors to protect longer term linear infrastructure opportunities should be undertaken to provide greater clarity and certainty for landowners, communities and businesses. The early preservation of corridors also reduces the potential for conflict in the future to manage growth.
Walking, cycling and local connections
Most people in South District use their car to travel, demonstrated by 78 per cent of journey to work trips being by car. Walking accounts for 22 per cent of trips less than five kilometres, and of the trips over 10 kilometres, 18 per cent of trips are by rail25.
Residents drive from low density neighbourhoods to transport interchanges, centres and places of employment. Parking is becoming constrained near rail stations, transport interchanges, centres and places of employment.
This District Plan supports the introduction of other forms of transport to access centres and the transport network. For example, around centres, in Planned Precincts, and in urban renewal precincts and corridors, improved walking and safe cycling links, improvements to the public domain and an increased tree canopy will encourage people to walk or cycle for the first or final legs of their journeys to and from stations and public transport interchanges. Direct, safe and accessible routes to local destinations and services should be priorities within a 10-minute walk of centres.
More convenient interchanges will encourage public transport use. This includes making interchanges more attractive and providing more services such as shops. Upgrades to Heathcote, Jannali, Oatley, Panania and Narwee rail stations have improved or are improving station accessibility.
In the eastern parts of the District, there is good cycling access to centres, and some neighbourhoods have access to more than one strategic centre within a 30-minute journey.
Cycling can be encouraged as a preferred transport mode for shorter journeys through on-and off-road cycleways linking to centres and local destinations such as schools or parks. The proposed Sutherland to Cronulla ActiveTransport link, a shared two-way pedestrian and bicycle path between Sutherland and Cronulla, aims to address the current heavy reliance on motor vehicle transport for short trips in the Shire by improving walking and cycling opportunities. The proposed route will provide a practical connection to residential and commercial areas, as well as hospitals, schools and transport links.
Transport for NSW is establishing a bicycle network hierarchy in collaboration with councils. The Principal Bicycle Network will establish high quality, high-priority routes within the Greater Sydney Green Grid to facilitate safe, connected direct north, south, east and west connections to centres. Several Greater Sydney Green Grid Priority Projects (refer to Planning Priority S15) include cycling connections to Kogarah, Hurstville and Sutherland, and from Campsie to Bankstown.
Regional routes and local routes identified in local government bike plans will connect to the Principal Bicycle Network to facilitate a seamless and connected network within urban areas. Local streets will connect to local and regional routes to provide door-to-door access for cycling.
Cycleways should be supported by facilities such as bike racks or bike lockers at shopping centres, workplaces and transport interchanges. An example is the bike facilities near Caringbah Station. Increased provision of end-of-trip facilities such as lockers, showers/change rooms at workplaces also support cycling.
For neighbourhoods that are further afield, or where the topography does not support walking or cycling, locally appropriate public transport links such as smaller buses will reduce car use for the first and final legs of the commute, encouraging an overall shift towards public transport.
Changes are occurring in the freight and logistics sector, in part driven by technology changes and related changes to some retail business models. While significant long-term growth in the freight and logistics sector is in the Western Parkland City, the nature of different supplies such as local produce, will require opportunities in the Central River City and Eastern Harbour City to be retained.
Planning decisions should also support the growing demand for parcel deliveries and on-demand freight, noting that the Sydney Airport curfew and the consequent timing of parcel deliveries and collections often coincides with the morning and evening peaks, intensifying peak traffic congestion.