Scania S 500 6x2 twin-steer, Highline with curtainside semitrailer and centre axle trailer Södertälje, Sweden Photo: Gustav Lindh 2016

National road transport association and lobbying group, NatRoad (National Road Transport Association) has applauded the New South Wales Government’s focus on making the State’s roads safer and more efficient in its 2021-22 Budget  saying the move ‘deserves a solid tick”.

NatRoad says much of the funding for ongoing projects such as WestConnex and Western Sydney Growth Roads was expected but welcome.

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark was critical of the delayed start to construction of the Sydney Gateway connecting Sydney Airport and Port Botany to the city’s motorways network, saying the $1.1 billion commitment was “long overdue”.

“Construction of the new Sydney airport and associated development is clearly a huge driver of much of what’s in this Budget,” Mr Clark said.

“We’re certainly delighted to see the $899.7m over the next four years for the Western Sydney Growth Roads program, which will make heavy vehicle movement safer and more efficient.

“We also welcome the focus on key regional roads which recognises their importance to the national freight task.”

Mr Clark said freight times would be improved by a $2.0 billion commitment over four years to continue the transformation of the Princes Highway in Northern NSW.

“Commencement of the Coffs Harbour Bypass, the Great Western Highway Upgrade program between Katoomba-Lithgow and Kelso to Raglan and $52.6 million for continuing Barton Highway improvements are some of the other regional highlights.

“NSW and Commonwealth Government funding will continue priority projects including the Mount Ousley Interchange, the Milton Ulladulla and Moruya Bypasses and construction of the Nowra and Batemans Bay bridges.”

Mr Clark singled two smaller announcements of $37m for the duplication of Heathcote Road between Heathcote and Holsworthy, and $14m for the duplication of Picton Road between Mt Ousley and Wilton should not go unnoticed.

“The funding is for planning work but many NatRoad members will be relieved to see both projects pick up pace,” Mr Clark said.

“Improving safety and connectivity on Picton Rd was added to the Infrastructure Australia Priority List two years ago, in recognition of it as a key link for the Illawarra Region, South Coast, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne,” he said.