Hunter Expressway Easing Pressure on Nearby Roads

Media Release

WT081/2014

05 June 2014

Joint release with:

Duncan Gay

NSW Minister for Roads and Freight

Latest data shows that around 20,000 vehicles a day are using the new Hunter Expressway, taking significant pressure off local roads in the two months since it opened to traffic.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Hunter Expressway project constructed 40 kilometres of new dual carriageway between the M1 Pacific Motorway and the New England Highway near Branxton.

“The Australian Government pumped $1.45 billion into the project, which included six strategic interchanges along the route to service local communities,” Mr Truss said.

“Data collected by NSW Roads and Maritime Services shows that the New England Highway near Maitland has particularly benefited since the expressway opened, with a dramatic 45% drop in traffic on the highway through Lochinvar and a 25% reduction through East Maitland and Maitland.

“Heavy vehicle use of the New England Highway through Lochinvar has fallen by up to 65% and the number of heavy vehicles travelling through Maitland has fallen by more than 40%.”

New South Wales Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay said the Hunter Expressway had not only reduced travel times for motorists traveling between Newcastle and the Upper Hunter, but had also improved traffic flow across the broader network.

“Of the routes accessing the expressway the Newcastle Link Road has seen a 30 per cent increase in traffic, which is similar to what the models predicted,” Mr Gay said.

“Total traffic at Weakleys Drive has experienced a decrease of 15 to 20 per cent, with a reduction of around 20 to 25 per cent in heavy vehicles.

“Cessnock, Buchanan and Hart roads have experienced an increase in the order of 1,500 to 2,500 vehicles a day, but these increases are much lower than anticipated.

“The Hunter Expressway was designed to accommodate long-term development and growth in the Hunter region in coming decades and this traffic data shows the project is on-track to do just that.”

The reduction in the number of vehicles and the subsequent improvements to traffic flow on the New England Highway has been welcomed by the community.