New South Wales
Whilst I support this project in principal and location, I am very concerned with the access roads surrounding the St Marys site, in particular at Lee Holm Rd.
I understand that the new facility is proposed to cater 300,000 containers pa, which relates to 34 containers per hour, or approx. a container every 1.75 minutes.
This is an enormous volume to transport onto existing roads.
I note the new traffic signals at the end of Lee Holm Rd & Christie St which will improve that intersection. However no upgrades of Lee Holm Rd itself or at other intersections with Lee Holm Rd seem evident.
Currently Lee Holm Rd is very congested and only wide enough for 3 vehicles. More significantly, Hi-Quality Group's Land Fill / Recycling facility, just barely 200m from the proposed entry / exit point, will be a major traffic management problem. Dump trucks bank up along Lee Holm Rd from both directions waiting to enter the Hi-Quality site. Also, they have very poor dirt removal processes on site, so trucks exiting the site carry a large amount of dirt onto the road. So they have engaged road cleaners and street sweepers to continually wash down the road all day long. This creates a highly localised precarious section that every truck entering and exiting the proposed Freight Hub facility must pass through.
Should the truck drivers wish to avoid this section, they must drive in the opposite direction along Lee Holm Rd towards Wordoo St / Forrester Rd intersection. This intersection is not currently proposed for an upgrade. It is already heavily congested, especially during afternoon peak times when factory workers finish work. Traffic banks up at Wordoo St and along Forrester Rd down to the Glossop St intersection.
So with a container every 1.75 minutes, this will become an extremely volatile area. Please consider tired workers leaving their jobs after a long day only to be hit with traffic as soon as they leave their work.
Please review the overhead power lines along Lee Holm Rd near the entry / exit location, which seem too low and require a major upgrade. They are located right along the edge of the kerb increasing risk of an accident with high volume truck movements.
Upon reviewing the Traffic & Transport Assessment Figure 7.4 showing the required swept path at the proposed entry / exit location it appears that every single truck that enters and leaves the facility must go onto the other side of the road. Given the high volume of road transport through the proposed facility, this would result in excessive interference and stoppage of other vehicles using Lee Holm Rd. It would create traffic build up. Also, given that this is near a blind bend (only 100m away) there would inevitably be a rear end accident as vehicles come around the bend to be met with a traffic jam, waiting for the truck to enter / leave the proposed facility every 1.75 minutes!
I also find it dangerous that the proposed "Heavy Vehicle Access Rd" leading from Lee Holm Rd to the facility just misses a very big steel electricity transmission tower.
It seems evident to me that the location of the entry / exit is not ideal and that there must be better alternative.
By "better" I mean one that does not impact the local workers and businesses so heavily. Does not heighten safety risks along Lee Holm Rd at numerous locations. Does not require every single truck to go onto the other side of the road and impact all other users of Lee Holm Rd. Does not have adverse flow on effects to other ends of Lee Holm Rd as an avoidance consequence of the area.
To mitigate all the above-mentioned issues, I propose that entry / exit for the facility be relocated to run along the Existing Siding and come out at Christie St, with new traffic lights installed. At this point it is far away from existing businesses and facilities, there is sufficient space to widen the driveway and allow low impacting truck swept paths. The proposed duplication of Christie St may even be brought forward (at Werrington Rd intersection).
In summary, I support the proposed St Marys Freight Hub to cater for the growing Sydney metropolis, with the whole basis of this facility being to relieve "the regional and state road network of heavy vehicle and container traffic" as stated on page v of the EIS. Whilst relieving other areas throughout Sydney of this traffic, the offset it seems is that Lee Holm Rd will be burdened with the increased heavy vehicle and container traffic. There are way too many local adverse effects with the current proposed entry / exit at Lee Holm Rd. A safer, more efficient, less impacting alternative must be sought. Hopefully, with further analysis, my proposal may prove suitable.