INTERMODAL | OPINION: Why it won’t work

Congested: "Traffic studies show road networks reached peak period capacity in 2010 –  vehicles couldn’t enter the network in peak times because it was full." Generic picture
Congested: "Traffic studies show road networks reached peak period capacity in 2010 – vehicles couldn’t enter the network in peak times because it was full." Generic picture

The Moorebank Intermodal simply won’t work because of the cost of upgrading the local road and rail freight networks (author’s complete references available via online version)

Traffic studies show the local road network reached peak period capacity in 2010. Vehicles couldn’t enter the network in peak times because it was full.

By 2030, natural growth alone will see peak demand exceed capacity by 29 per cent.

Existing excess traffic demand in peak periods means peak periods are becoming longer – without the extra Intermodal traffic. Although the government has approved construction to start on the Intermodal, essential road studies are still being done.

The Intermodal needs unrestricted access to local roads. The Intermodal will have an impact on 27 local intersections and several pinch points. The state government isn’t revealing details of the studies under way.

At current growth, without the Intermodal, traffic queue lengths at key intersections with the M5 – Newbridge Road, Heathcote Road and Moorebank Avenue – will exceed distances between intersections as they’re so close. Queue length will grow along Moorebank Avenue till it reaches the M5 intersection where it’ll clog the M5 interchange. The Intermodal will add the equivalent of an extra 30,000 passenger cars a day to natural growth.

A reason given for the Intermodal is it’ll cut the number of container trucks on Sydney roads. Latest government estimates show container trucks on Sydney roads will go up from 2250 a day in 2015 to 5480 in 2040 if the Intermodal operates at full capacity and Port Botany container throughput reaches 7 million containers a year.

The Intermodal needs more rail capacity than is available and a road link between Port Botany and WestConnex is needed because 65 per cent of all Port Botany containers will be carried by road in 2040.

  • MORE ONLINE
  • Greg Cameron is a self-employed policy analyst advocating for a rail freight bypass for Sydney between Newcastle, East-ern Creek and Glenfield and paying for it by railing containers from Port of Newcastle, rather than trucking from Port Botany.

SIMTA responds:

Mr Cameron's claims are wrong and some very simple fact-checking would have shown that. His campaign against Moorebank isn’t surprising given he’s been trying to convince various governments for years that Port Botany should be shut down entirely and moved to Newcastle. The truth is the Moorebank facility has been approved after seven years of expert independent assessment, it’s now being built and it will deliver thousands of jobs and economic benefits for decades to come.

  • Spokesman, SIMTA