Fixing up our roads in a pinch
THESE are the little fixes on roads the state government claims are saving some drivers as much as 15 hours a year behind the wheel.
In the past six years, 163 projects have been carried out under the justcompleted $225 million Pinch Point program, fixing up many notorious bottlenecks.
Dozens more will be removed over the next eight years under two further programs, each worth $300 million, as the government continues its war on congestion.
An analysis by the Roads and Maritime Services of roadworks at one major intersection at Cabramatta calculated motorists would reduce their travel time by 15 hours each year.
Another upgrade in southwest Sydney was expected to cut the annual commute by eight hours.
Other projects included fixing 62 clogged intersections, installing 68 CCTV cameras to monitor traffic and adjust traffic light phasing and 33 electronic message signs to provide realtime updates on traffic snarls.
NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said the upgrades to congested traffic hot spots, or pinch points, are helping drivers get “home earlier”.
“We need to try and relieve some of that pressure because it not only costs families, it costs the economy,” she said. “The more efficient you make travelling times, the better it is for the state, which is why we invested money in it.”
A recent report by the Australian Automobile Association found average speeds on Sydney’s congested roads had dropped by 3.6 per cent in the past five years to 58.2km/h.
Ms Pavey said the demand on the Sydney road network was “huge”.
“Our weekend traffic figures are as busy as most weekdays now,” she said.
“If we hadn’t invested in pinch points, I would hate to think what it would be like.”
Upgrades planned include Centennial Ave at Lane Cove West, Parramatta and Shaftesbury roads at Burwood and Church and Parkes streets, Parramatta.
Julianne Horsman, 34, said she travels through a number of pinch points on her way to work in the city from Campbelltown.
“I avoid driving to work at all costs,” Ms Horsman, who works at Racing NSW, said. “At the moment I would rather drive to Gundagai than to the city in peak-hour traffic.”
Parramatta MP Geoff Lee said an upgrade to a dangerous stretch of road in his electorate had improved safety.
“For Pennant Hills Rd and Marsden Rd, there hasn’t been a serious crash at that intersection since the completion of works in 2016,” he said.
Julianne Horsman avoids driving in Sydney because of heavy traffic. HOWMUCH CH TIMECAN YOUSAVE?dailytelegra ph.com.au