Page 2214 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 22 June 2011

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freight that will be carried on roads will double in the next 10 to 15 years, and improvements such as the Majura parkway are important in addressing this future freight demand.

Majura Road, which currently connects the Monaro and Federal highways, does not have the capacity and is not in a condition to accommodate current vehicle volumes and cope with future predicted traffic growth. The completion of the Majura parkway has the potential to transform the movement of freight along the north-south corridor and remove a significant bottleneck.

Secondly, in the regional context, Majura parkway will provide better access to Canberra airport, which is developing as a transport hub, given its 24/7 operations with no curfews. The expansion of the Canberra airport as a major international and freight hub and a viable alternative to Sydney airport will result in significant increases in traffic, as noted in the Canberra airport master plan. The Majura parkway represents a key infrastructure investment to enable the airport to realise its potential as a multi-modal freight hub, supporting and complementing regional economic development.

The eastern broadacre study has identified the corridor on either side of the Majura parkway as a future major commercial hub, given its close proximity to the airport and the Hume Highway, which will enable it to service both Canberra and surrounding regions in New South Wales. The Majura parkway will also address the key infrastructure deficiencies identified in the eastern broadacre study that would allow the development of this new freight corridor in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Thirdly, in a local Canberra context, the Majura parkway will provide improved capacity and safety on the main road system in north Canberra by removing heavy vehicles and by diverting traffic movement away from major corridors like Northbourne Avenue.

The Majura parkway was first identified in “tomorrow’s Canberra” in 1970 as a component of Canberra’s peripheral road system. This system is designed to provide efficient traffic movement between towns without impacting unduly on residential areas. Subsequent planning studies, including the metropolitan Canberra 1984, the Canberra spatial plan 2004 and the ACT sustainable transport plan 2004 have identified and retained the parkway as a key component of the primary road network.

The Majura parkway will be an important north-south ring road. It will cater for the growing traffic demand, particularly as northern Canberra expands, and the expansion of the Canberra international airport as a significant freight hub. It will also assist in improving safety and amenity and reduce the level of traffic using residential streets in north Canberra as rat-runs during peak periods.

The parkway will also have some, albeit limited, use for public transport, as it links suburban areas in Canberra’s north to destinations in the south, including Tuggeranong, the airport and Fyshwick. These destinations have mostly peak demand and will continue to be served by peak express buses rather than an all-day transit network.

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