Minister for Roads Duncan Gay today urged motorists to plan their Christmas and New Year holiday road trips, with heavy traffic expected on main roads and highways across the state, many of which have been improved since last Christmas.
“This was a year of delivering for roads across NSW. We’ve opened a number of new and upgraded sections of motorways, highways and key arterial roads that get very busy this time of year,” Minister Gay said.
“Motorists will see many projects are now complete and we’ve started work on others.”
ROAD UPGRADES AND IMPROVEMENTS OPENED OR DUE TO BE OPENED BETWEEN CHRISTMAS DAY 2012 AND CHRISTMAS DAY 2013:
- Kempsey bypass: opened March 2013
- Bulahdelah bypass: opened June 2013
- Woolgoolga bypass (part of Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade): opened December 2013
- Herons Creek to Stills Road upgrade: opened October 2013
- Alstonville bypass – Alstonville and Wollongbar gateways: opened May 2013
- Bega Bypass: due to open this Thursday, 19 December 2013
- Hume Highway – Holbrook bypass: opened August 2013
- Princes Highway – South Nowra upgrade: four lanes due to open this Friday, 20 December – project ongoing
- Central Coast Highway: final section opened December 2013
- Great Western Highway – Woodford to Hazelbrook, eastbound lanes – opened August 2013 – project ongoing
- Hills M2 Motorway upgrade: completed August 2013
- Erskine Park Link Road: opened June 2013
- Prospect Highway & M4 interchange: completed December 2013
- Camden Valley Way upgrade – Leppington section – southbound lanes: opened September 2013 – project ongoing
- Richmond Road upgrade – stage one, northbound lanes: opened October 2013
“We’ve also completed projects to relieve congestion at points along the Cumberland Highway, Old Windsor Road, Pacific Highway through Sydney, Princes Highway and Pennant Hills Road,” Minister Gay said.
“But with upgrades continuing at other parts of the state, there will still be delays. Major roads across NSW see a dramatic increase in traffic and while our infrastructure work will make a difference in some spots, no one’s pretending you’ll get a clear run everywhere.
“Roads such as the M1 Pacific Motorway, the Pacific Highway, the Princes Motorway, Princes Highway, Great Western Highway and the Hume Motorway all experience massive increases in traffic.
“We’re expecting the big increase in traffic to start on Friday 20 December and last until Monday 6 January, but the roads will also be busier outside of those dates.
“Anyone planning to travel during this time should keep in mind the busiest times are usually between 10am and 5pm.
Traditional heavy holiday traffic is expected around Hexham, Macksville, Coffs Harbour, Woodburn, Ewingsdale, Albion Park, Kiama, Berry, Nowra, Milton, Ulladulla and Bateman’s Bay.
Minister Gay said with more cars on the road it is even more important to drive safely.
“Stick to the speed limit, don’t drink and drive, and don’t trust your tired self when you get behind the wheel,” he said.
“If you’re driving, you don’t need to be checking your mobile phone – get your hand off it.”
Despite plans being in place to improve traffic flow, such as work at major road upgrades temporarily suspended and extra traffic crews in place, delays at some locations will be unavoidable.
“If you’re not planning to leave Sydney you should allow extra travel time to and from the airport, beaches and major shopping centres,” Minister Gay said.
“To help motorists plan their journey the new version of the Live Traffic NSW website will send out regular email alerts about incidents on motorists’ favourite travel routes. We’ve also got a new version of the Live Traffic apps with all kinds of improvements to make planning your drive easier.”
The Live Traffic NSW iPhone, iPad and Android apps have also been upgraded to be faster, with more features including email traffic alerts for your journey. The apps have all the latest traffic information, personalised incident alerts and live traffic cameras.