Problem to be addressed
High traffic volumes and limited capacity on the Prospect Highway between Reservoir Road and St Martins Crescent are leading to congestion and safety issues.
The problems in the corridor affect general traffic, public transport users and freight. The proponent’s traffic modelling showed that most of the trips affected by congestion are passenger and business vehicle trips.
The business case also reports that the reliability of the three bus services in the corridor degrades during peak periods. Meanwhile, the proponent states that there is a need to increase the number of bus services in the region, potentially doubling over the next 25 years.
In addition to slow travel times, the route has a poor safety record with 73 reported injury crashes from July 2014 to June 2019 including four ‘head on’ collisions. The accident rate is more than 25% higher than the average rate for equivalent classes of road on Sydney’s road network.
The project will upgrade a 3.6 km section of the Prospect Highway between Reservoir Road and St Martins Crescent, Blacktown.
The upgrade will provide a minimum four-lane divided road with a variable width central median strip. Dedicated bus lanes will be provided between Lancelot Street and St Martins Crescent.
In addition to the capacity expansion, the proposal also includes upgrading or altering eleven intersections, and improvements to pedestrian and cycling paths (shared paths).
The improvements for pedestrians and cyclists include adding new shared paths and widening others.
Economic, social and environmental value
Economic benefits of the project include travel time savings, vehicle operating cost savings for both private vehicles and commercial vehicles. Other benefits include crash cost savings.
The proponent’s stated benefit-cost ratio is 6.4, with a net present value of $945.3 million (7% real discount rate).