Whilst the Peaceful Bayside Action Group welcomes measures to prevent hooning and dangerous driving, as well as seeing ways to improve traffic flow, we are extremely concerned about Transport for NSW’s proposal to extend the clearways on The Grand Parade and Rocky Point Road.
It's important to note that this is not a Bayside Council plan. This plan has been devised by Transport for NSW i.e. the State Government.
This proposal, which may benefit areas south of the Bayside LGA, comes at great cost to Bayside residents overall as detailed below:
1. Lack of traffic studies
Where are the traffic studies that warrant these proposed clearways? We ask Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to release these studies, including their complete methodology and input data. Will the clearways proposal actually provide a noticeable improvement to traffic flow? Historically, and by design, there are bottle-necking issues with The Grand Parade that the clearways proposal will not overcome. This is because, southbound, the three lanes from Kyeemagh merge into two at President Avenue and, northbound (outside of peak morning times), three lanes merge into two before the airport tunnel. The current clearways already provide traffic flow relief at peak times when it is needed most.
2. Transparency around parking changes
Residents have not been given all the pertinent information such as the net number of parking spaces to be lost to the proposal. Residents and visitors to the Botany Bay area have already been suffering parking stress for years and fighting for improvements to parking. The clearway measures will have a significant impact on the already overburdened parking situation for residents. We believe the number of new parking spots proposed is considerably fewer than the number of unrestricted parking spots currently available on The Grand Parade. The loss of parking spots to the clearways will increase the burden of parking by visitors to the area who can no longer park on the main road and will need to seek parking on the smaller surrounding streets. Clearways should not be extended without the adequate provision of alternative unrestricted parking options for residents. Where it's deemed that limited parking should be introduced, it should be limited to three hours and not two; two hours are insufficient for many activities, especially if also going to the beach and then to a restaurant or cafe to have a bite to eat. Unfortunately, TfNSW is limiting the parking spots to a maximum of two (2) hours.
3. Lack of consultation
TfNSW has not consulted Bayside Council on the clearway changes. As a result, Council has not had the opportunity to engage with residents and provide considered feedback. Residents have been left in the dark and not been given enough information or time to consider the reason for and impacts of the proposed clearway changes. We urge Transport for NSW to release both publicly the studies and projections upon which the proposed clearway changes were based and to give impacted residents more time to provide feedback.
4. Undermining the aims of the M6
The Grand Parade clearways are proposed to be extended whilst the State government is currently building the new M6 extension. Residents understand that a key intended purpose of the M6 was to provide an alternative route to The Grand Parade for traffic travelling through the Bayside Council area. The M6 would then become the key thoroughfare for this long-distance traffic, taking pressure off The Grand Parade. Rather than taking pressure off, the current proposal for clearways adds more pressure to The Grand Parade and feeder routes, by encouraging more traffic. Meanwhile Bayside residents continue to be inconvenienced by the construction and operation of the M6. Providing the clearways on The Grand Parade will discourage drivers from utilising the M6. We urge TfNSW to focus its traffic planning on ensuring the M6 becomes the key thoroughfare that takes traffic pressure off The Grand Parade.
5. Loss of green spaces
The Grand Parade clearway proposal also indicates that green spaces with Cooks Park will be eaten away to include parking bays. This is a further loss of green space, after Bayside residents are already suffering the significant loss of green space due to the construction of the M6.
6. Reducing congestion and carbon emissions
Meanwhile train services on the T4 line have been cut. To address rising transport emissions, we must encourage more people to use active and public transport rather than personal vehicles. We ask TfNSW to instead focus on delivering more train services and active transport links to help ensure NSW achieves Zero Emissions.
7. Business interruption
Concern has been raised that added burden on parking will not only impact those businesses on The Grand Parade and Rocky Point Road, but also businesses in the surrounding streets since it will become more difficult for visitors to park and access the businesses. This would be an unacceptable outcome. The Kogarah and especially the Ramsgate high streets on Rocky Point Road are vibrant, busy areas that will be adversely affected should all-day, seven-day a week clearways be introduced. The vast majority of businesses along the road trade throughout the day and not at night when the clearways end and when parking is again possible. Businesses may be decimated to accommodate a few additional cars being able to move in traffic. These are businesses that have already struggled through over two years of difficult times from bushfires, severe lockdowns and inclement weather.
8. Increased safety issues for pedestrians
The Botany Bay foreshore is a popular recreation destination for residents and visitors alike, especially during summer and on the weekends. With the combination of heavy traffic flows, and limited access points for safe crossing, pedestrian access to the foreshore is already challenging. The clearways proposal will exacerbate the safety issues by increasing traffic and removing the current protection provided by parked cars. The improvements proposed as part of this project do not address these safety issues where it matters most. It is essential TfNSW considers implementing additional safety measures, such as nature strips to easy crossing, more level crossings, reducing the number and width of lanes, widening the footpaths, adding protected bike lanes, increasing the width of the verge, planting street trees to provide a visual and physical barrier between pedestrians and motor vehicles, as well as reducing speed limits, all along Grand Parade, including at key crossing areas (such as Bay Street, Duke Street and President Avenue) in order to provide a sufficient barrier between pedestrians and moving vehicles, especially at sections where the footpath is narrow and help ensure New South Wales achieves Zero Deaths.
This proposal is inconsistent with TfNSW’s own Movement and Place framework, and fails to recognise the the shore of Botany Bay as one of the most significant places in the region. The minimal improvements to traffic flow that may (if at all) be gained for non-residents of the Bayside area have not been properly presented as part of this proposal. The proposal is detrimental to Bayside residents and businesses. Safe access to Botany Bay foreshore, and adequate access to parking for residents, is integral to maintaining the vibrancy and liveability of Bayside. The M6 should continue to be viewed as the appropriate measure to address increased pressure on The Grand Parade.
Read more here about the plans and also to have your say.
Note: Submissions close on Monday 17 October
To Make YOUR Submission by Monday 17 October
You can make a submission online, using any or all of the points above. However, we suggest that you write the submission in your own words to ensure it's unique and drives home the various points being made more strongly and powerfully. All feedback to TfNSW must be received by Monday 17 October 2022.