The Liberal and Nationals Government has today released plans to create 15 minute neighbourhoods in the Hunter region by better connecting local transport networks.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the Draft Hunter Regional Transport Plan is now out for public consultation and outlines the Government’s strategy to bust congestion, improve freight connections and make the M1 a Smart Motorway.
“The Hunter is one of the fastest-growing areas in NSW and we want to ensure we are building what matters to make daily life easier for these communities,” Mr Farraway said.
“This draft plan is our vision for what Transport for NSW should look at to secure a brighter future for people living in the Hunter, by providing support for the businesses and industries that are the lifeblood of this booming area.
“Some of these initiatives we’re already delivering – like the transformative New England Highway upgrade between Belford and the Golden Highway – and some are about to get underway, including the Muswellbrook and Singleton bypasses.
“We’re also planning for the future by investigating a range of initiatives such as further upgrades to the New England Highway to improve safety and travel times at Rocky Cut, Belford to Singleton, Singleton to Muswellbrook and Muswellbrook to Scone.”
Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said Newcastle is the second largest city in the state and with its population expected to increase 15 per cent by 2041, it’s important that residents and stakeholders contribute to the Draft Hunter Regional Transport Plan.
“We are putting the foundations in place that will make sure the rapidly growing population across the Hunter has a safe, efficient and accessible road network to use,” Mrs Ward said.
“We’ve already set in motion major projects that will deliver great travel time savings for the city and its commuter hubs, like the final piece of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass from Rankin Park to Jesmond and widening the Hexham Straight.
“We’re also investigating a range of measures to reach our government’s target of zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads by 2056 by creating a safer road network.
“It’s now time for residents, businesses and visitors to have their say on the draft plan to help us enhance our transport network now and into the future.”
Member for the Upper Hunter Dave Layzell said planning for the region’s future transport needs was important for the Hunter’s continued economic development by making it easier to get around.
“We want to improve the lives of Hunter residents by emphasising the ’15-minute neighbourhood’, allowing people to access most of their everyday needs quickly and easily by using public transport, walking or cycling,” Mr Layzell said.
The plan is available to view at future.transport.nsw.gov.au/HunterRTP and covers 10 local government areas comprising Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Mid Coast, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter.
Transport for NSW is asking residents and stakeholders to contribute to the Hunter Regional Transport Plan by making their submissions by Friday, 11 November 2022 at future.transport.nsw.gov.au/HunterRTP