A Shorten Labor Government would provide $50 million in investment for further upgrades to the Picton Road if elected on 18 May.
With this announcement, Labor MPs and candidates from the Illawarra and South-west Sydney have now committed $155 million in investment for the Appin Road, Picton Road and Maldon Dombarton Rail Link. The Liberals in the Illawarra and in South-west Sydney have refused to make any funding commitments to ensure that our region gets the vital infrastructure we need.
Labor calls on the Liberals to join them in a bipartisan agreement to support infrastructure in the region and match this funding which will be guided by the planning work being undertaken by the NSW Government.
According to Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List, Picton Road carries around 20,000 vehicles a day, of which approximately 22% are heavy vehicles. Traffic volumes are expected to grow along the corridor with population growth, development in Western Sydney and growth at Port Kembla.
Between October 2012 and September 2017, there were six fatal crashes and 30 serious injury crashes (which resulted in eight fatalities and 41 serious injuries). This is close to 2.5 times the New South Wales average for the number of fatal and serious crashes per kilometre for similar type roads.
In its report, Infrastructure Australia has proposed a number of initiatives to address capacity and safety issue son Picton Road including:
- Minor road upgrades such as providing central barriers;
- Upgrading intersections or adding signals;
- Additional overtaking opportunities.
The report states that the volume of passenger and heavy vehicles on Picton Road, combined with difficult topography is causing significant delays and safety issues on the route. This is resulting in longer travel times and high crash rates.
To date, $60 million has been spent on safety improvements along the road since 2010, which has led to a 25 per cent drop in crashes and the incidence of head-ons falling by 80 per cent. This additional funding is vital to work towards a continued decline in accidents and fatalities.
It will take a Shorten Labor Government to get important infrastructure projects for the Illawarra and South-west Sydney back on track for our region and improve safety on our roads and build strong and safe freight and transport links to expand business opportunities and create new jobs.