Media Release – 01 Deceember 2015
WestCONnex M5 Interchange is a Crown of Thorns
Residents in Alexandria were horrified to see the plans for the M5 and the St Peters Interchange with its ‘Crown of Thorns’ concrete freeway arching over a ‘brand new park’ which given its close proximity to an unfiltered, filthy exhaust stack, doesn’t make it somewhere anyone will want to be.
Ben Aveling, Co-Convenor of the Alexandria Residents Action Group is dismayed at the spin and misinformation contained in the latest information release.
He said “it just beggars belief that anyone thinks that this is a good result for the people using the M5, let alone the people at the end of the road who will be left to deal with the massive increase in traffic.
There is no mention of the $26 daily tolls that people will have to pay, and no mention of reduced travel times over the whole journey. It’s just smoke stacks and mirrors.”
A closer inspection of the map reveals some other failings of the proposal:
• All traffic that needs to go into the city will need to find its way through McEvoy Streets, Mitchell Road and King Street, and this situation won’t improve if the M5 to M4 tunnel (which is unfunded) ever gets built. The only way into the city is via those three streets.
• 100,000 more cars a day are supposed to be using the M5 extension. This isn’t enough to make the toll road pay, but where are all the cars going to go? Anyone who has driven down those already crowded roads knows more traffic means slower travel times and more congestion.
• One of the off-ramps joins Gardeners Road which is already at capacity. Given that Gardeners Road goes from three lanes down to one after Botany Road, we are now stack filling an existing car park.
Even more laughable are the claims made in the four page brochure on the ‘New M5 – St Peters interchange’:
• ‘Returning local streets to local residents by removing through traffic and fixing local bottlenecks’. Unless WestCONnex has found a way to make 100,000+ cars a day evaporate, there is no evidence that WestCONnex has removed traffic – rather it has massively increased it, and created nightmare bottlenecks
• ‘Up to 49% reduction in travel time’ but if you read the small print, this only applies up to the King Georges Road interchange, so bad luck if you are using WestCONnex to get into the city!
“WestCONnex is a bad idea for Sydney. It puts roads ahead of public transport.
It comes at the cost of spending on schools, hospitals and other infrastructure and it creates more problems than it solves.” Ben Aveling said.
“We know it’s not a good deal. The Auditor General’s review of the Business Case back in December 2014 was damning. The Government won’t release the Business Case and that speaks volumes.”
We call on the government to halt all work on the M4 and M5, stop letting tenders and acquiring homes and businesses and release the business case.
Nothing less is satisfactory.”
For more information contact: Ben Aveling, Alexandria Residents Action Group 0407 228 240
The “Crown of Thorns” Interchange, just south of Sydney Park
The EIS for the M5 East, thousands of pages of spin, numbers, graphs and diagrams, much of which has no basis in fact, now has been released – just in time for Christmas – with limited time for the public to read, assess, analyse and submit their comments to the government.
It is very cynical of the government to release such important documents over the Christmas holiday period.
Residents can get more information by visiting m5eis.org where community members from across Sydney will be posting their analyses and draft submissions for you to assess in submitting your objections to this wasteful road project. Visit the site regularly, as information will be upgraded regularly.