The volume of passenger and heavy vehicles on Picton Road, combined with difficult topography, is causing signiﬁcant delays and safety issues on the route. This is resulting in longer travel times and high crash rates.
Picton Road connects the M1 Princes Motorway near Mount Ousley in the east, with the M31 Hume Motorway at Wilton and Picton in the west. It is a key freight connection between Port Kembla and the Illawarra with Western Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne via the Hume Motorway.
The road carries over 20,000 vehicles a day, of which approximately 22% are heavy vehicles. Traffic volumes have grown historically at 4% to 5% per year and are expected to continue growing along the corridor with population growth, development in Western Sydney and growth at Port Kembla.
In the ﬁve years up to March 2019, there were seven fatal crashes and 26 serious injury crashes (which resulted in nine fatalities and 34 serious injuries). This is more than double the New South Wales average for the number of fatal and serious crashes per kilometre for similar type roads.
Land use changes planned at both Wilton and Greater Macarthur Growth Areas are expected to deliver an additional 60,000 homes nearby by 2040. When combined with the growing freight task, traffic volumes on Picton Road will continue to grow, which may further impact on travel times and crash rates.
In February 2021, the problem timeframe for the initiative was updated from medium term (5–10 years) to near term (0–5 years), in recognition of the growing problem costs.
Options to address capacity and safety issues on Picton Road include:
• minor short-term road upgrades such as providing central barriers
• improving horizontal alignment and upgrading intersections or adding signals
• additional capacity and overtaking opportunities, including the potential duplication of the corridor.
Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).