Parramatta Outer Ring Road capacity

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Parramatta Outer Ring Road capacity

Congestion on roads around Parramatta CBD
Early-stage proposal (Stage 1)
Parramatta, NSW
Fast-growing cities
Efficient urban transport networks
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Near term (0-5 years)
Proposed By
NSW Government
Date added to the IPL
26 February 2021
Parramatta Outer Ring Road capacity


Parts of the Parramatta Outer Ring Road, which surrounds Parramatta CBD, are heavily congested in peak periods. This is resulting in motorists avoiding the outer ring road, and instead travelling through the Parramatta CBD which contributes to congestion and impacts on amenity.

These issues are expected to worsen over time. The Greater Parramatta and Olympic Park area is projected to experience rapid population and employment growth, with an additional 113,000 jobs and 72,000 homes between 2016 and 2036.

The outer ring road is made up of the Cumberland Highway, the M4 Western Motorway and James Ruse Drive, which carries 60,000 to 70,000 vehicles on average per day.

The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that urban travel patterns are becoming increasingly complex, driven by economic, social, demographic and technological changes.

There is a risk of growing divergence between the way our networks are planned and designed, and the needs of customers. Failure to cater for changing patterns of travel could contribute to growing congestion in our fast-growing cities.


Potential options to address the proposal include:

  • making better use of the existing infrastructure, such as with technology to improve traffic management
  • improving or removing intersections
  • bus network improvements.

If the proposal can encourage users to take the outer ring road, rather than travel through the Parramatta CBD, there may be an opportunity to improve amenity, public transport and active transport within the CBD.

Next steps

Proponent to develop potential investment options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).