The existing M7 corridor has a wide median that was intended for future dedicated public transport lanes (Source: TfNSW)
We need better active transport facilities
Bike riders are very worried that construction works will disrupt the popular M7 shared path, a high-quality facility delivered alongside the motorway in 2005. We expect the project team to consult very closely with local stakeholders to design detours.
An even greater concern is that the project has no ambition to leave a legacy of better cycle facilities along and adjacent to the corridor. “It is essential that the NSW Government leverages the investment in toll road infrastructure to deliver new and improved active transport facilities that will meet the active transport needs of Western Sydney, now, and into the future”, says Francis O’Neill, Bicycle NSW Head of Advocacy. This is unacceptable.
“There is a desperate need for more shared user pathways to improve pedestrian and cycle access across the motorway to and from the M7 cycleway” agrees Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleaside OAM. “The planned widening of the M7 does nothing to reunite communities that were split by the original construction.”
There are currently very few water stations and no toilets. Adequate facilities including rest/change areas and
e-bike charging stations are essential to encourage a mode shift away from private car use.
Improved public transport services are a must
The 15m-wide central median was originally intended for future dedicated public transport lane. TfNSW claims there is no strategic need for bus services along the corridor. This is clearly incorrect. Since 2005, the M7 has been a line of desire for 191,000 daily trips. Many of these drivers would use public transport were it available. With the additional traffic lanes now planned for the central median, the M7 will be a private toll road exclusively for private vehicles.
“Unfortunately, the latest plans dismiss the need for public transport facilities on the motorway either now or in the future,” Mayor Bleasdale OAM said.
In order to future-proof our communities, build resilience, reduce congestion, lower emissions and improve public health, an effective multi-modal transport network is essential. That includes prioritising public transport because one bus means 60-70 less cars on the road.