Hundreds of community submissions about proposed intersection upgrades on the Oxley Highway at Port Macquarie will help inform the next steps.
Transport for NSW put forward concept options with proposed improvements across a 9.5 kilometre stretch of the Oxley Highway.
A report has been released outlining the community's feedback.
The report said the feedback raised issues including concerns about increased congestion in Port Macquarie due to new housing developments, driver behaviour on the Oxley Highway, pedestrian safety, lack of bicycle paths and general suggestions about the proposed design for each intersection.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams said more than 450 submissions had been received in response to consultation carried out earlier in 2021 to improve the 9.5 kilometre section of the highway from Billabong Drive to Hastings River Drive in Port Macquarie.
"The NSW government is investing $850,000 to progress the designs for these improvements and develop a longer term transport strategy in conjunction with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council," Mrs Williams said.
"More than 23,500 vehicles use this section of the Oxley Highway every day, including about 1500 heavy vehicles and the local insights we've received during the consultation process have been invaluable.
"Port Macquarie is a growing community and this route provides an essential link between the Pacific Highway and the CBD so it's important we plan properly to meet the community's needs for now and into the future."
Mrs Williams said Transport for NSW sought feedback on its proposals to increase capacity of the Pacific Highway interchange and options for upgrading the intersections with John Oxley Drive near Philip Charley Drive, at Wrights Road and at Lake Road.
"The community is eager for solutions to increased traffic congestion on the Oxley Highway especially following new housing developments, commercial development and the new health and education precinct," she said.
"Three options were presented for the planned upgrades to the Wrights and Lake Roads intersections and the community was largely in favour of building an overpass for the Oxley Highway westbound lane, installing traffic lights on the Oxley Highway eastbound, Wrights Road and at Lake Road."
Concerns were also raised about pedestrian safety including the need for additional footpaths and the lack of bicycle paths in the area.
"We'll continue to work with council to make sure we deliver the best outcome for the community, for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to ensure everyone has a safe and smooth experience on and around the Oxley Highway," Mrs Williams said.
Transport for NSW will keep the community informed and liaise with impacted residents and businesses.
The report said the next step in the process would involve confirming the preferred option for the Wrights Road and Lake Road intersections, and develop a preliminary design and project justification.
A review of environmental factors will come next and the community will have a chance to provide feedback.
Transport for NSW will continue to work closely with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to progress planning for an integrated transport network, the report said.
"Using the feedback received, we will also work with council to identify the preferred options for proposed Oxley Highway upgrades, particularly at Wrights Road and the Pacific Highway interchange, and also the relative timing for these upgrades," the report said.
Transport for NSW thanks the community for its feedback and contribution to the planning work through the consultation during April and May 2021.
The state government is currently funding planning investigations for the Oxley Highway with funding and timing for major work yet to be confirmed.
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