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M5 East expansion essential to prevent gridlock for local residents

Posted 22 December 2011 by (Hurstville News)

Mayor of Hurstville, Cr Steve McMahon is calling for the M5 East expansion between Beverly Hills and the City to be built at the same time as the M5 (west) expansion to prevent gridlock for residents of the Hurstville local government area.

Mayor McMahon said local residents will be severely impacted following the NSW Government’s announcement today that it will widen the M5 between Camden Valley Way and King Georges Road Beverly Hills.

“Without the widening of the M5 East, this will be disastrous for Hurstville motorists driving to the city,” he said.

“Once again, it is common sense. Three or four lanes reduced down into two lanes equals a bottleneck at Beverly Hills. It is a car park now and this will just make it worse.

“I acknowledge this infrastructure improvement is long overdue and will benefit locals who need to travel west, but it is simply poor planning to leave a vital piece of the puzzle out.”

Mayor McMahon accused the NSW Government of repeating failed policies of the past.

“More than 13 years ago, the M5 was built without the M5 East which resulted in local road congestion. When the M5 East was built, it alleviated the pain for a while however now the NSW Government is repeating that failed history by not expanding the M5 East at the same time as the M5 (west). It is sheer madness,” he said.

“I invite the Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay MP to leave his ivory tower, get his chauffeur to drop him off at King Georges Road around 8.00am on any given weekday to join me and other locals to witness the M5 East gridlock and learn some common sense. I will even bring the fold up chairs, coffee and biscuits.

“Premier Barry O’Farrell used to complain about the previous Government’s lack of planning and foresight with infrastructure however expanding the M5 (west) without funding the expansion of the M5 East is poor planning and our local residents cop it.

“It is one thing for the Minister to say that 50% of cars leave the M5 before they get to the M5 East but it is still a car park and gridlocked.

“What about the locals who join in at Beverly Hills too?

“I am sick of these clowns taking St George residents for granted. They made many commitments to locals on traffic but now they hide behind submissions to Infrastructure NSW and Infrastructure Australia. The solution is simple - just fix it.

“A result of the M5 car park, we will see more cars using our local streets as a rat run to the City.

“The biggest winner out of this will be the operator of the M5.

“We will see the sign that flashes “SLOW TRAFFIC IN TUNNEL AHEAD” everyday.”

Mayor McMahon said that if the NSW Government does not commit to the expansion of the M5 East now, the residents of Hurstville are condemned to at least another five years of traffic gridlock.

“It is so frustrating. I dont care which level of Government has to fund the expansion but it is time to get your act together and fix it before it is too late,” he said.

“The piece meal approach to infrastructure in NSW is what has constantly failed us. We need an approach that includes better rail services to get cars off the road as well as improved ports to get more freight on rail and fewer trucks on the road.”

Steve McMahon
Mayor of Hurstville