The New South Wales government has released a plan that aims to get people out of cars and onto bikes, sidewalks and public transport in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region.
The Illawarra-Shoalhaven Regional Transport Plan, released this week, outlines ways to transform the way people and goods move around and through the region over the next 20 years.
With an extra 100,000 people expected to reside in the region over the next two decades, and the road networks already strained, "it is important that we have the right transport services and infrastructure in place to support the region’s growth,” said transport minister Andrew Constance.
And the plan recognises the need to move away from private car transport, which accounts for 83 per cent of all trips in the region currently.
"With parts of the region's transport network already experiencing congestion, accommodating the anticipated growth in travel over the next 20 years without behavioural change would require significant investment in additional road infrastructure, which is likely to be cost prohibitive, challenging to deliver and unsustainable over the longer term," the plan stated.
Instead, the plan focusses increasing walking, riding and public transport use.
"Transport for NSW will work with Wollongong City and Shellharbour City Councils to develop a Principal Bicycle Network for the Wollongong and Shellharbour Local Government Areas to ensure a seamless cycle network regardless of the asset owner," the plan stated.
There are also plans to encouraging greater bus use through the introduction of bus lanes on key routes like the Princes Highway, Shellharbour Road and Memorial Drive.
Under the plan’s ultimate transport vision, one in every five trips will be made by walking, cycling or public transport across the region by 2041 – acknowledging the transport sectors key role in the state governments plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Other key goals of the plan include:
- investigate suitable areas to introduce 30km/h zones
- adding transit lanes for cars carrying multiple passengers
- improving connectivity between the Illawarra-Shoalhaven and Greater Sydney
- reducing crash rates on roads
- use of technology to support a safer and more efficient transport networks
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