Wollondilly MP advocates for "vital" Picton Road upgrade

Picton Road
Picton Road

Picton Road is one of the region's most notorious stretches of bitumen and Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith has made it his mission to get the thoroughfare upgraded.

Mr Smith has been lobbying the minister for roads and transport Andrew Constance in an effort to have the road improved as a top priority.

The roads minister praised Mr Smith for his advocacy, at the recent Cross-Regional Transport Forum hosted by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation (ISJO),and as a result has requested a safety audit and business case study for the upgrade.

Mr Constance indicated that he would like to see strategic planning commence for the duplication of Picton Road, similar to that taking place for the Princes Highway.

He said it was "time to bite the bullet" and that he "wants to see the agency complete that type of planning."

Mr Smith said it was more crucial than ever to ensure the road received an upgrade.

"Picton Road should be upgraded to motorway standard to the interchange at Wilton with the Hume Highway," he said.

"It should be two lanes in each direction, separated the entire way."

Picton Road carries approximately 21,000 vehicles a day, which is growing at around eight per cent per year - a quarter of the daily traffic is heavy vehicles.

The road is expected to reach its peak daily capacity in 2025.

"It is also a major economic road for the state, linking the Illawarra and greater Sydney," Mr Smith said.

"This is more important now as the construction of the Western Sydney Airport and the Aerotropolis progresses.

"It is vital to have rapid and safe road networks linking the airport precinct to the south coast."

Residents, business owners, community groups and local politicians have advocated for a Picton Road upgrade for several years.

Picton Road Motorway Coalition spokesperson Adam Zarth said that the minister's comments were an important win for the coalition, and a testament to the advocacy of local elected representatives and the private companies who have backed the group.

"We heard strong statements of support from Minister Constance for the upgrade of Picton Road, and his acknowledgement that this will be the major connection between south-western Sydney, the Aerotropolis and the Illawarra," said Mr Zarth.

"Most importantly he has indicated his keenness to get on with the strategic planning process, which will need to occur before any major funding can be brought forward."

Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth said he was glad to see some commitment from the state government.

"It's good to see that we are all moving in the same direction," he said.

"I understand that a lot of planning and community consultation has to be done first but it is noce to see this getting some traction.

"It is a big issue for the region.

"Mr Smith has pushed really hard for this and I believe all levels of government need to work together to make this a reality"

Cr Deeth said there was no reason the Picton Road upgrades should not be linked to the long-touted Picton Bypass.

"The Picton Bypass is absolutely a critical issue right now and its not out of the realm of possibilities that it could be connected with this upgrade at the Picton-Wilton interchange," he said.

"Not having the bypass made evacuation so challenging during the fire season earlier this year - we nearly lost lives.

"I don't want to be in that same position the next time we experience a fire season like that.

"And just looking at how the pop-clinic in Picton crippled the road network in town - the bypass is an ideal solution and we need the government to get on with the community consultation on that."

This story Wollondilly MP advocates for "vital" Picton Road upgrade first appeared on Camden-Narellan Advertiser.