Are you fed up with traffic congestion on Lake Road, Ocean Drive and the Oxley Highway?
An orbital road could be the answer.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has opened community engagement about the proposed orbital road in Port Macquarie.
The orbital road was discussed in the confidential committee section at the council meeting on November 21.
The council voted unanimously to roll out community engagement activity for the proposed orbital road, confirming its commitment to progress the project through the planning stages.
Mayor Peta Pinson said this was a great step forward in planning for our region’s future transport needs.
“The proposed orbital road is a critical piece of infrastructure that will provide a long-term solution for our growth, ensuring future generations can move around Port Macquarie safely and smoothly,” she said.
The orbital road is proposed as an east-west link (Ocean Drive to Oxley Highway), a north-south link (Oxley Highway to Boundary Street) and a flood-free route to the Port Macquarie Airport.
The council noted the many benefits the road would have for the community including the provision of a safe and efficient connection for more than 20,000 residents a day, removing through traffic from the inner Port Macquarie area including the Lake Road industrial area.
The proposed new road would also reduce travel times and overall travel distances.
With more and more people calling Port Macquarie and the surrounding region home, the council is looking at the proposed orbital road to reduce significant congestion, particularly on Lake Road, Ocean Drive and the Oxley Highway.
It would also improve connectivity with key business and economic hubs including the airport, the future expanded airport business park and the growing Health and Education Precinct around the Base Hospital and Charles Sturt University.
The council recently conducted a survey with the community to understand transport-related concerns and Cr Pinson said the views held toward congestion were not surprising.
“What we have learnt is that the majority of residents believe that traffic congestion in Port Macquarie is a problem and has become worse in the last five years,” she said.
Proposed orbital road investigation corridor:
“What we did find surprising is that congestion is influencing people’s travel behaviour with around half of respondents saying they have changed the time they travel or used alternate routes to avoid congestion hot spots.
“We have a raft of planning underway to ensure we have an integrated transport network that supports our growing community, and whilst the proposed orbital road was a key topic of discussion last night, this announcement will not distract council from the importance of a range of other road improvements and upgrades that we have planned.”
The route options have been assessed for potential impacts to the environment, property, community and existing infrastructure.
The community’s feedback will influence the council’s decision on the final route option.
“What we’re doing now is making sure we are talking openly with the community and gathering information to ensure council can make the best possible decisions about next steps for the project,” Cr Pinson said.
“This will include further investigations, planning and significant investment from the federal and/or state government.
“We acknowledge that the final route may result in the need for some properties to be acquired in the future.
“This may cause anxiety for some members of our community and council is committed to working with property owners, residents and businesses who have the potential to be directly affected by the project
“We will keep residents, businesses and property owners informed about the project and potential future impacts as we go.
“Right now, we are in the engagement phase, so I encourage our community to have your say on this important project.”
There is an opportunity from November 22 for the community to have their say on the proposed route of the orbital road.
The community can find information about how to get involved and provide feedback at the council’s have your say website.