Residents have once again expressed concern and frustration over traffic, congestion and safety along New Line Road, despite a $70 million upgrade pledge from the NSW Government.
NSW Transport carried out consultation with the local community and road users towards the end of last year in a bid to identify development options for the New Line Road corridor.
The ‘Have your say’ consultation resulted in three main themes from the community, these being congestion; pedestrian and bike provisions and safety; and safety at existing roundabouts.
Congestion was the number one concern, particularly at the key intersections of Shepherds Drive and County Drive, Hastings Road, Sebastian Road and Old Northern Road.
Concerns were also raised about the need for more active transport and pedestrian infrastructure along New Line Road, specifically near roundabouts, where residents deemed pedestrian access and connectivity inadequate.
The section of Purchase Road to Jenner Road received the most complaints, with congestion remaining the top issue, followed by traffic delays through the section of New Road at Pyes Creek. It was also noted that the steep grade of the road in this area creates further delays as it is also a heavy vehicle route. Once again, suggestions were made to widen New Line Road with two lanes of traffic in each direction.
In his Budget announcement in June, NSW Treasurer and Hornsby MP Matt Kean pledged $70 million, saying the funds would go towards widening New Line Road from single lanes to dual carriageways between Purchase Road and Hastings Road.
At the time, Mr Kean said the much-needed upgrade would widen the Pyes Creek Bridge to improve traffic flow and effectively make “an enormous difference to those that live and travel through the area”. In this latest community consultation, residents said they were concerned that widening New Road between Purchase Road and Jenner Road would lead to an increased volume of traffic.
The consultation found:-
• Concern regarding congestion on New Line Road near Purchase Road, particularly during school pick up and drop off times.
• Concern regarding the use of merge lanes leading to congestion and bottlenecking along New Line Road. • Concern relating to congestion in Segment C, impacting significantly on travel times during peak hours.
• Concern that new developments in surrounding areas have led to an increase in traffic on New Road.
• Suggestion to provide overpass at Pyes Creek to increase number of lanes available.
• Suggestion to widen New Line Road between Purchase Road and Jenner Road to three lanes in either direction to future proof the road.
• Request for the provision of a bus lane on New Line Road.
• Request for New Line Road to be made into a dual carriageway from Castle Hill Road to the roundabout at Old Northern Road.
• Suggestion for shoulder lanes to be added along New Road between Purchase Road and James Henty Drive/David Road.
• Request for an additional lane to be provided southbound at the intersection of New Line Road and Purchase Road, to allow for traffic turning into Purchase Road accessing Cherrybrook Technology High School and John Purchase Public School; and
• Request for New Line Road to be widened at Pyes Creek to further ease congestion. The next big area of concern for residents was the section from Boundary Road to Purchase Road. Several suggestions were received to install traffic lights at the roundabout of County Drive/Shepherds Drive and New Line Road to aid in managing traffic and pedestrians during peak hours. There has been talk of this for several decades.
The community feedback entailed:-
• A large number of requests received for traffic lights with a pedestrian crossing to be implemented on New Line Road near the bus stop between the intersection of Boundary Road and New Line Road and the intersection of County Drive/Shepherds Drive and New Line Road.
• Request for more pedestrian crossings at the intersection of County Drive/Shepherds Drive and New Line Road.
• Request for more pedestrian crossings with traffic lights near bus stops between the intersection of Boundary Road and New Line Road and the intersection of County Drive/ Shepherds Dive and New Road.
• Request to move the existing pedestrian crossing on Shepherds Drive closer to the roundabout at the intersection of County Drive/Shepherds Drive and New Line Road.
• Request for a pedestrian overpass or underpass to be installed at the intersection of County Drive/Shepherds Drive and New Road; and
• Request for signalised pedestrian crossings at the intersection of New Road and Country Drive/Shepherds Drive.
It was not known whether any of these suggestions would come into fruition, the Government said the community’s feedback would be “considered as part of the future planning development of this corridor”.
Further engagement with the community is expected to occur this year.