NSW Labor will set aside $2.4 billion to improve transport along the southern Sydney and Illawarra corridor with a board of experts to help guide the specific upgrades that will focus on increasing services, improve punctuality and creating more reliable journeys.
Instead of proceeding with the F6 toll road, Labor will focus on public transport on one of the most congested corridors in NSW. The focus on the investment will be guided by independent experts to ensure commuters get the improvements they deserve.
The T4 line (Illawarra line) is one of the busiest on the network and when combined with the Airport –South line and the South Coast line it is evident that expenditure must focus on this existing infrastructure rather than constructing a new toll road that will add thousands of vehicles onto local roads around Kogarah and cost commuters up to $100 week in tolls.
The Liberal Government failed to properly asses the benefits of upgrading existing rail infrastructure but that will be the focus under a Daley Labor Government going forward.
Discussions with experts and a review of potential projects along the corridor has taken place, but Labor will not make the mistake this Government has by rushing in to specific projects until it has the opportunity in Government to assess what Transport for NSW recommend in conjunction with advice from an independent panel to help guide the investment.
The board of experts will examine and prioritise projects that were submitted for the corridor in the 2017 Infrastructure Australia submission including :
- Curve straightening along Waterfall to Sutherland
- Curve straightening from Coniston to Austinmer to increase train speeds along the route and reduce travel times.
- Erskineville Crossovers to increases the number of services along the route.
- Coniston grade separation, designed to reduce an existing bottleneck for freight and passenger services along the corridor.
- Investigation of the feasibility of the Thirroul-Waterfall tunnel using more contemporary tunneling equipment.
- Removal of problematic level crossings along the corridor
- Duplication of track south of Unanderra
- Electrification south of Kiama
- Assess the future of the Stanwell Park viaduct.
We will ask the board of experts to be guided by the three goals of decreasing travel times; increasing service frequency; and improving the customer experience. These goals are all aimed at making the use of public transport a real substitute for vehicle travel to and from Sydney.