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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2017
85 FUTURE FREIGHT NETWORKS 2017 COMPANY PROFILE Y COMPANY PROFILE As the first stages of WestConnex come online, freight and light commercial operators in Sydney can look forward to improved reliability and productivity. Dozens of tunnelling machines are cutting their way through Sydney’s sandstone and shale, up to 50 metres below Parramatta Road, to extend the M4. At the same time, more roadheaders are carving out a new M5 that will double road capacity along this notorious corridor that sees the M5 East congested for much of the day. The reasons for this work are well known. Congestion across Sydney costs around $5 billion per year and is climbing. Not only are congested roads slower and less efficient, travel times are also becoming less and less predictable. With drivers taking longer to reach their destination, the overall productivity of the transport task is reduced, and this results in a significant economic impact to freight operators and the broader community. That’s why the WestConnex motorway is so important. At its core, WestConnex is about delivering a more efficient supply chain. It will generate economic growth, improve the flow of goods between the port, airport and Western Sydney, and will reduce transport costs. The WestConnex motorway will: • widen the M4 between Parramatta and Homebush, and extend it via underground tunnels between Homebush and Haberfield • double road capacity along the M5 East corridor • jointheM4andM5toforma seamless underground motorway. WestConnex will also connect the significant economic generators of Port Botany and Sydney Airport to both the M5 and extended M4 motorways, via the new St Peters Interchange being built in the airport precinct. The role of heavy vehicles in moving freight across New South Wales is substantial, with 80 per cent of containers handled at Port Botany arriving and departing by road. That means improvements in the performance of road operations will benefit all port users. The biggest commercial users of motorways are light vehicles, such as vans and utes, which make four times as many trips as larger trucks. WestConnex will deliver benefits to freight and commercial vehicle users, including: • reliability improvements • vehicle operating savings • travel time savings • 5.3 -metre tunnel height. WestConnex will save around $1million per day on vehicle maintenance.^^ More than two-thirds of WestConnex will be built underground in tunnels that are taller and wider than Sydney has ever seen. Importantly, the M4 and M5 tunnels will have a maximum gradient of four per cent – half of today’s M5 East incline. This means a more efficient, smoother trip for heavy and light commercial vehicles. As we all know, time is money. Quicker, more reliable trips will benefit the freight industry, reducing costs from fuel, vehicle maintenance and wages. With WestConnex progressively opening, better days are ahead for freight transport operators in Sydney. ^^WestConnex Updated Strategic Business Case November 2015, page 313 Dennis Cliche, Chief Executive Officer Sydney Motorway Corporation is a private company established by the New South Wales Government. It was commissioned by Roads and Maritime Services to deliver and finance the WestConnex motorway. It is working closely with industry partners to successfully deliver the project on time and on budget. 501686E_WestConnex I 2296.indd 25 9/05/2017 9:04 AM