The North Connex Tunnel - Are they Serious?

  M636C Minister for Railways

I downloaded the diagram map of this project from the NSW Government website.

As a link from the M2 to the Pacific Motorway, it appears to be a much needed road.

However, looking at the diagram, I noticed that no provision had been made for westbound traffic on the M2 to join the North Connex, nor was there any provision for southbound traffic to join the M2 eastbound.

Since the M2 is the only freeway north and westbound from the city of Sydney, that means there is no provision to travel to Sydney from Newcastle or vice versa using the North Connex.

You can of course exit to the Cumberland highway and then join the North Connex, but that would add two sets of traffic lights and queuing, which isn't what you want if you are paying for tolls on both the North Connex and the M2.

Right now, there is a lot of truck traffic from the Cumberland Highway to the M2 westbound at any time since the M2 and the M7 form the only Sydney bypass route for through traffic.

Could it be that they want to discourage southbound trucks from using the M2 eastbound to get to Port Botany? (and vice versa north and westbound?)

But there is a lot of traffic currently on the Pacific Highway that would use the M2 and North Connex if there was a direct connection north and westbound  and south and eastbound at the Cumberland Highway.

The only thing I can think of is that such a transfer of traffic from the Pacific Highway would completely swamp the already inadequate M2, so the planners have decided that it is better to have this traffic on the old highway (passing most high schools, primary schools and private schools in the district) rather than completely jamming the already overcrowded M2.

It does make more sense than the West Connex, however..


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  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
As for one question, whilst the maps are 'wishy washy', there is a "Westbound M2 > Northbound M1" route at the Southern Interchange, it is already under construction when you are driving west on the M2 now before Pennant Hills Road.

But I too found it confusing about Southbound>Eastbound, maybe people will be forced off at a previous exit on Pennant Hills road if they want to go to the city.
  M636C Minister for Railways

I've checked the website again:

The text and the artist's impression of the southern interchange as well as the map both show the tunnel to M2 ramps only in the Westbound direction.

They speak about merging lanes for traffic west of Pennant Hills Road but nothing east of there.

Southbound on the M1 to eastbound on the M2 would only involve exiting to Pennant Hills road and taking the next exit on the left for the M2 which isn't too bad. You mightn't enconter a light.

But westbound on the M2 to northbound on the M1 would mean exiting to Pennant Hills road, crossing opposing traffic and taking the tunnel entrance north of the M2. Since a lot of the M1 users are commuters going to and from the CBD and nearby areas, that would significantly delay the homeward journey.

  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
In the true way of doing such things in NSW, the lowest spec/price gets adopted. In 10 years or so they will decide to build ramps from/to further east on the M2 at several times the cost of doing it now. Its probably also asking too much for them to build the initial headings now which would result in less disruption later on.

Their Crystal Ball doesn't work in regard to future traffic flows either - look at the cost involved to add the 3rd lane to the M4 a few years back, not to mention the 3rd lane being added from Parramatta to Homebush now. All good for the Government's construction industry mates though.

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