The NSW government will spend $60 million to relieve chronic congestion at Macquarie Park.
Sydney's Macquarie Park in for road upgrade to help ease chronic congestion
The NSW government will spend $60 million to relieve chronic congestion at Sydney's second-largest business precinct at Macquarie Park as the temporary shutdown of the Epping-to-Chatswood rail line looms late next year.
The first stage of the road project to begin this year involves upgrades to intersections in an attempt to improve bus running times ahead of the shut down of the rail line for seven months while it is converted to carry single-deck metro trains.
The first 700 metres of an extra three kilometres of bus lanes will be installed over the next year in and around the precinct, which is home to Macquarie University, a large shopping centre and a raft of large businesses such as Optus.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the work would assist in easing pressure during the closure of the 13km stretch of rail line, when buses would be used to move thousands of people each day between stations.
"We are fair dinkum about investing very heavily in Macquarie Park," he said.
"The roads are clogged. We have got to get on and free up transport infrastructure from cars, and that's why we're investing like we are with the additional bus lanes."
The intersections to be upgraded during the first stage of the project are Herring and Epping roads; Herring and Waterloo; Waterloo and Lane Cove; and Lane Cove and Epping.
The government will undertake further road improvements at Macquarie Park over a two-year period once the first section of the new $20 billion metro line from Rouse Hill in Sydney's north west to Chatswood is completed in 2019.
Up to 25 on-street car spaces and about 150 trees will be removed as a result of the construction work.
Ryde mayor Bill Pickering said there was an urgent need for transport infrastructure at Macquarie Park because its roads resembled a car park in the morning and afternoon peak periods.
"The government must seriously address the [need for an] underground bus terminal and light rail from Carlingford [to Macquarie Park]," he said.
"If we continue the way we are going we are going to see valuable business entities move elsewhere because their employees are having difficulties [travelling to work]."
Mr Pickering, a Liberal Party figure, said everyone harboured concerns about how the temporary closure of the Epping-to-Chatswood line would be handled.
Fairfax Media reported on Monday that an internal memo prepared within Transport for NSW showed the state government had been instructing transport officials to ignore public transport alternatives to motorway projects.
However, Mr Constance refuted suggestions Cabinet was giving priority to road projects such as the proposed F6 motorway in Sydney's south.
"What we have today is an email that has been cobbled together by some bureaucrat which is ill informed of the Cabinet process. The reality is that there is no Cabinet directive," he said.
"The email tried to speculate what Cabinet might or might not do."