The City of Parramatta has released the long awaited Epping Town Centre Traffic Study.
This Study was a key recommendation of the 2017 Epping Planning Review. That review identified that the original traffic studies conducted in 2011, before the Priority Precinct was declared, are now seriously out of date. The 2011 study though is still used in development applications to justify plans that often exceed the planning controls.
The Council therefore lobbied the RMS to commission an updated Study which looks at not only the traffic already generated by recent development but models planned future developments, what are allowable under the Priority precinct, and what may be proposed over and above this. Not surprisingly, the Study finds that the scale of development that Epping Town Centre has already seen, and the volume of through traffic in the suburb, has brought the roads under serious pressure. Key findings include:
89% of trips over Epping Bridge are through traffic not local journeys
The widening of the bridge would not be a game changer, and is not in RMS's plans or budget
Routes and intersections are currently over saturated in morning and afternoon peak
There is projected growth of up to 10,000 additional new dwellings in the area by 2036 which would result in over 3,000 cars not being able to enter the local roads
The Study recommends further investigations in to projects to try and ease traffic:
1. Reopening of the former M2 bus tunnel link - combined with:
2. A new east west road link through 240-244 Beecroft Road - to work as an alternative route leading up to Carlingford
Both these options are recommended for further investigation, and will come to the City of Parramatta council meeting on Monday 28th May.
The Study can be accessed at Epping Town Centre Traffic Survey May 2018
The Trust supports the findings of the traffic study which highlight that Epping's traffic woes must cast doubt on any extension or increase in developments above those already in the planning pipeline. The Study shows that there has been a serious failure of proper planning when the Priority Precinct was inacted, and that the impact of Epping being split between two councils, and then subject to the merger process, has allowed excessive, poorly thought through development that has seriously compromised the suburb's traffic. There are no instant solutions in the Traffic Study, but it does give the basis for calling a halt to future over development.