More roads in northern suburbs will increase traffic - Illawarra Greens

More roads in northern suburbs will increase traffic

MEDIA RELEASE 22 November 2017

Labor and Liberal plan for more roads in northern suburbs will increase traffic

The Greens Councillors on Wollongong Council have criticised plans by Labor and Liberal Councillors to build more roads in Wollongong's northern suburbs, saying congestion will increase with more roads.

Labor and Liberal plan for more roads in northern suburbs will increase traffic 

The Greens Councillors on Wollongong Council have criticised plans by Labor and Liberal Councillors to build more roads in Wollongong's northern suburbs, saying congestion will increase with more roads.

Cr Jenelle Rimmer put a motion to Council on Monday night to investigate options for building more roads in Thirroul, Bulli and Austinmer, which was supported by all the Labor and Liberal Councillors and opposed by the two Greens Councillors, Mithra Cox and Cath Blakey.

Mithra Cox, Greens Councillor for Ward 1, voted against the motion, saying "Our current congestion problems are caused by the fact that 85% of all trips in Wollongong are made by car.  In other OECD cities, around 45% of trips are made by car."

"In Copenhagen, where planners have designed a network of off road cycle lanes on every road, 62% of people ride a bike to work and just 9% drive a car. If bikes are a safe and convenient way of getting around, people do it in droves.

"People in Wollongong literally have no other way to get around other than by driving.  Our local train only goes once an hour, or every 2 hours on weekends, most streets don't even have footpaths, and there is no significant cycle network. It's no wonder our roads are choked with cars.

"We definitely have a congestion problem in Wollongong, and we need serious investment in public and active transport to solve this.

"Building another road into Thirroul or Austinmer will double the traffic coming in, and just move the bottleneck a few kilometres north.

"Residents on Buttenshaw Drive have already contacted me concerned about the increase in traffic and lack of footpaths - they can't even walk safely to the train station.  There will be a huge backlash if there is any plan to make Buttenshaw Drive an alternative main road to Lawrence Hargrave Drive.

"The community is totally opposed to turning a firetrail linking Phillip St Thirroul to Foothills Rd Austinmer.  Councillors have had a flurry of letters and phone calls from residents, all of which opposed this ill considered plan.

"Our subtropical rainforest is unique and wonderful - and should be protected from development whether that's roads or houses. New housing should be along the train line, there should be a cycleway next to the rail corridor, and our trains should run every 15 minutes.

"If we don't invest in public and active transport, our car use and our traffic congestion will continue to increase," Cr Cox said.

More information: Mithra Cox 0419 720 322


Cr. Mithra Cox
Ward 1, Wollongong City Council
0419 720 322<tel:0419 20720 20322>