New South Wales
I am primarily objecting to some of the details in the document, Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA), for the Marulan Solar Farm.
This document has 32 pages of typed information plus some 80 pages of charts and diagrams. These type of documents may be suitable for qualified people but being an unqualified local the documents appear to be designed to create confusion thus restricting our ability to make considered responses.
There is no provisions to construct an acceleration lane for left hand turn from Munro Road onto the eastbound direction of the Hume Motorway. As indicated in the following, this creates a dangerous situation for traffic exiting Munro Road as well as Motorway vehicles, which will lead to accidents with possible fatal consequences.
The TIA confusingly states various wait times for exiting vehicles but in conclusion (page 30) states wait times to increase from 38.9 seconds to 52.5 (average), but then states that traffic volumes will increase by 1,100% (page 18). As local residents, we are aware that average wait times do not truely reflect actual wait times and that it is impossible for wait times to not even double when the volume of traffic increases by 1,100%.
With 55 vehicle trips per hour in peak time (page 17) plus local traffic, driver impatience will obviously lead to the potential to enter onto the motorway without sufficient space to do so.
There appears to be no documentation regarding the traffic controller operations as to how long traffic exiting Munro Road will be held up until the B-double actually enters Munro Road. Not only will this delay increase the wait time, but a queue will form, waiting to exit Munro Road. Once able to exit, this queue will also add considerably to wait times. Heavy vehicles will take longer to exit than light vehicles. In peak times large queues will form with extensive wait times. This isn't fair on the locals.
Winfarthng road is 5km from Munro Road and in peak times we regularly have to wait 2-3 minutes, at times up to 5 minutes.
Also, compounding the situation, there is a private property entrance/ exit onto the Hume Motorway within 100m of Munro Road, with a crossover.
From Narambulla Ck on the Hume Motorway, 4km west of Munro Road, the motorway climbs eastbound for 3 km and levels out as it approaches Munro Road. As B-doubles slow down to enter Munro Road, heavy vehicles will be accelerating after cresting the climb. As heavy vehicles end up forming a "convoy" by the time they crest the hill and if a left turning B-double is in this "convoy" a conflict arises. Heavy vehicles continuing past Munro Road will undoubtedly have to accelerate into the fast lane, cutting off light vehicles, to overtake the turning B-doubles. this will also add to the dangerous situation around this intersection.
The TIA is unclear as to whether solar farm light vehicles travelling westbound, can make a right hand turn into Munro Road. if they are able to do so this can also increase the dangerous situation.
From the Carrick Quarry, 9km west of Munro Road, which has direct entry onto the motorway, the area is a designated and signposted road "Black Spot". Between the Carrick Quarry, eastbound, until Marulan South/Jerrara Road interchange, there are some 16 crossovers between the eastbound and westbound lanes of the motorway. All these crossovers add to the Weave Effect on traffic, particularly in light of the TIA.
The TIA states that the proposed Marulan Quarry (page 16), adjacent to Winfarthing Road, has been approved. This is false. Global Quarries Pty Ltd, proponents for the Marulan Quarry, haven't even submitted their Environmental Impact Statement to State Planning. They have indicated that they have completed all their studies and will be submitting their EIS, subject to Crown Lands. The Marulan Quarry plans to have 50 heavy vehicles per day, exiting onto the Hume Motorway using a right hand turn out towards Sydney. These heavy vehicles (42.5 tonnes) will be entering the right hand lane at Narambulla Creek and then immediately attempting to move into the left hand lane as they attempt to accelerate up the 3km climb towards Munro Road. Thus, if approved, another addition to the Weave Effect will be created.
Transport for NSW have indicated that they intend to repave the Marulan Bypass and the Carrick Quarry have an application in to transport the excavated concrete to their Quarry for crushing and then returning the crushed concrete for road base. They propose reducing the bypass to single lanes, each direction,on either the westbound or eastbound lanes, depending on what carriageway is being repaved. Vehicle speed will be restricted. Similarly, traffic will be funnelled into single lanes around the Carrick Quarry to allow entrance and exit of these heavy vehicles transporting the concrete. Carrick Quarry sits at the top of the Carrick Hill which is 2 km long climb, eastbound. The proposal is that 2 days a week the single lanes will be implemented along with 80kmh speed limit.
Therefore, over the next few years, the 14km length of motorway between the Carrick Quarry and Jerrara Rd interchange and then further on for the Marulan Bypass, there will be multiple entrances of heavy vehicles from both sides of the Mororway, as well as the some 150 properties that feed onto the Motorway. Marulan residents will be forced to make lengthy U turns as the bypass is repaved in one direction and then the other.
All of this will add to the frustration of all vehicle drivers and if there isn't an accident along this stretch of the motorway then the cumulative impact will be felt further along.
There appears as though there is no provision for the school bus.
Lastly, there has been no consultation with those locals who will be impacted, particularly from those of us living on Winfarthing Road. Our safety when regularly travelling on the Hume Motorway should not be compromised.
Neighbours of Winfarthing Inc.
representing some 80 Residents