M2 Widening Project
The Proposed Route
Transurban and the RTA propose to widen the M2 Motorway in northern Sydney to provide 3 lanes eastbound from Windsor road to Lane Cove Road and 3 Lanes westbound from Lane Cove Road to Pennant Hills Road. This is a critical cycling route providing easy across difficult terrain to Northwest Business Park, Macquarie Park, Lane Cove West and beyond.
Project details at: http://www.hillsm2.com.au/upgrade.htm
On 10 November 2009 Bike North representatives (along with CAMWest and BNSW reps) attended our first meeting with Transurban and other project partners (RTA, Leighton) on this project. The planning has taken two years already and the concept design is completed and arrangements completed with the RTA.
The final project outcome will reinstate the 2.5m wide break-down lane for vehicles along the full width of the Motorway including through the Epping tunnel. This lane will be available to cyclists, but detail designs are unavailable at this stage. This is a significant win for cyclists and is recognition of the importance of cycling and the strength of our reaction on the previous widening westbound between Lane Cove Rd and Beecroft Rd.
However, while the final outcome brings back the previous conditions, cyclists will lose access to the motorway for the 2-year construction period. During this time an alternate route will be provided. Bike advocates propose a properly-constructed fully off-road cycleway while the current project scope proposes existing roads well off the M2, with direction signage. Further discussion is required.
Impractical - Circuitous - Hilly - Poorly Connected - Slow - Underfinanced - Potentially Unsafe
Transurban and the RTA are obliged to provide an alternate route for cyclists during the two years we are excluded from M2. Bike North and CAMWEST have participated in a number of consultation meetings with Transurban and the RTA where we have attempted to provide a cycling perspective which leads to both a viable alternate route, and identification of the items along the route which should reasonably be addressed to make it a practical and useable option. Transurban has also contracted a transportation consultant with cycling infrastructure design expertise to provide a further source of advice.
The reality all parties have been confronted with is that there is no good alternative to the M2 for cyclists needing to travel along this corridor. The best we could hope for is a route which is rideable and which has adequate provision of cycling infrastructure. This would ensure safety, a well connected route in both directions and a reasonable rate of travel.
The final route has now been established and can be viewed on this Final Route Map. The detailed design proposal will be revealed in the next couple of weeks. The design proposal will show how the route will be modified to transform current conditions to a state the RTA and Transurban deem acceptable for cycling.
Bike North has already given extensive feedback about the work which should be included in the design proposal. We are pessimistic however that infrastructure will be developed to an acceptable standard.
Regardless of the engineering works to be completed, the final route shows cyclists will be severely impacted by the exclusion from the M2.
The final Route:
Imposing these conditions on cyclists for two years is clearly unacceptable. Please act now by writing to the Minister for Transport and Roads, and the Hills M2 upgrade. Review the points on our letter writing page and make Transurban, the RTA and the NSW government aware of the impact this project will have on you as a cyclist. Demand the M2 construction be managed to ensure cyclists have at least partial access to the M2 at all times.
Some route changes have been adopted as a result of the consultation process. However the majority of our requests have been met with responses such as:
The excessive use of these heavily qualified responses and emphasis on adherence to "cost constraints" suggest a lack of commitment to provision of infrastructure necessary to safe and effective bicycle travel.
Last update: 23/07/2012 — Copyright © 2005