3 January 2023

Have your say on future of transport in South East NSW

| Albert McKnight
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road crash map

This image shows fatal and serious injury crash concentration in the South East from 2017 to 2021. Image: Draft South East and Tablelands Regional Transport Plan.

The State Government is calling for locals to have their say on the future of transport in South East NSW, a region known for its vast road network, lengthy travel times and often poor public transport options.

The draft South East and Tablelands Regional Transport Plan outlines how Transport for NSW will respond to the region’s transport needs.

Key goals include improving public transport between regions and cities as well as within centres and towns.

For instance, the draft plan points out how using public transport between NSW and the ACT is a “challenging experience”.

“Most cross-border trips require changing between two services whose timetables are not always aligned and can result in two separate fares,” it says.

“Public transport connections to strategic centres further from the ACT, like Batemans Bay and Cooma, can be even more challenging due to limited services.”

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Another key goal is reducing crash rates to try to meet the Towards Zero target of zero fatalities and serious injuries on the state’s roads by 2050.

From 2017 to 2021, 906 people were fatally or seriously injured in crashes on South East and Tablelands roads.

The top-three factors in the fatal crashes were speeding (45 per cent), fatigue (23 per cent) and alcohol (17 per cent). Also, 62 per cent of fatalities happened when a motorist ran off the road, while 10 per cent were head-ons.

The draft plans aim to support the Government’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050 through initiatives to create an emissions-free transport network. They also aim to make “15-minute neighbourhoods” where people can easily walk or cycle through their town.

For instance, it might be possible for the region’s towns to join the NSW Government’s trial of shared e-scooters.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said with more people choosing to call regional NSW home, initiatives in the draft plan would cater to the expected population growth.

“We have incredible, game-changing projects already underway, like the Nelligen Bridge, which is a year ahead of schedule, and the Princes Highway Upgrade program that will make travel through these regions quicker and safer,” Mr Farraway said.

Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Rob Stokes said the draft plan outlined the Government’s vision for the region’s transport infrastructure and services.

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“From Merimbula and Jindabyne to Queanbeyan and Goulburn, this incredible region is rapidly growing,” Mr Stokes said.

“It is important we plan for the future of our transport network, including better walking and cycling connections, to reflect the changing nature of travel in these areas.”

Transport for NSW will work with stakeholders, including the Australian Government and the private sector, to identify opportunities to fund the draft plan’s 50 initiatives.

The draft plan is available for public comment online until late February 2023, with the final version expected to be released later that year.

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