Submission for: Western Harbour Tunnel & Warringah Freeway Upgrade
WILLOUGHBY, New South Wales
I've received an EIS notification for the Western Harbour tunnel component and in the EIS they now talk about two options. "Do something" and "Do something Cumulative".
The first option only includes the WHT. (does not include the Beaches Link)
I had understood they would only do these projects together, I reckon if they just do the first one then they will move the bottle neck from the Anzac Bridge (caused by West connex stage 3) to the Warringah Freeway at Cammeray. If the government then runs out of money (a likely scenario) or loses the next election (another possibility) then the new bottle neck will become permanent.
According to the EIS Operational traffic and transport (chapter 9) travel times for traffic going to the city will improve because some of the cars will move to the western tunnel. While this may be true for single occupant cars over the complete distance I think times will be slower coming up to the new tunnel entrance at Cammeray (as motorists work to save travel times by using the WHT rather than other roads such as the Gladesville bridge) and quicker after that. But the EIS does not offer a separate analysis for buses which is strange because they account for most of the people travelling over the bridge each morning on the road. I reckon buses will also go slower coming up to the new tunnel entrance but as they currently have a bus lane after that, and there is no plan for extending it past the tunnel entrance the buses will overall have longer travel times under the new "Do something" option.
So I simply cannot see anything but increased misery for public transport users with this idea. Currently we have no bus services in the sydney harbour tunnel so why does the EIS have a picture of a bus going express to chatswood in a tunnel? Yes if public transport uses the tunnels it might be quick but the tunnels don't have bus stops so I would be very surprised if the buses ever user the WHT. If the beaches link is built they may use it in peak hour for express services but that is not part of the "Do something Option"
I also think the pictures of buses in the tunnel are misleading. Bus transport typically avoids long tunnels as there are no bus stops and unless there are plans to include bus services in the WHT I don't believe the proponents are being unrealistic by drawing buses, saying that if they use the tunnel they will have quicker travel times and concluding that the proposal will benefit public transport users, especially as it appears that (particularly on its own without the BL) they have made no other effort to back their case that it will.