The Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said planning for the New England Highway bypass of Scone is progressing, with the community invited to view the submissions report published on the Roads and Maritime Services website.
Mr Joyce said the concept design and review of environmental factors (REF) for the bypass and strategic design options for the rail bridge were displayed for community feedback from December 2015 to February 2016.
He said more than 200 submissions received for the bypass REF display and 187 submissions received for the display of three strategic options for a town centre rail bridge.
The main issues for the bypass related to connectivity at the southern and northern intersections, the proposed speed limit, traffic and access impacts to local businesses and the St Aubins Street intersection as well as impacts to emergency services.
The feedback submitted during the REF display has been considered and implemented in the modified bypass proposal where feasible.”
Mr Joyce said the northern and southern intersections have been redesigned to safely allow for all turning movements and the southbound left turn lane from the bypass into Scone via St Aubins Street has been moved further away from the intersection to improve visibility and safety at the intersection.
“Access to the St Aubins property and other private properties near the northern end of the bypass was improved and a connection between the club house and golf course has been provided under the first span of the bridge across Parsons Gully,” he said.
“With the environmental assessment now finalised the bypass will now progress into detailed design. Rail bridge options will continue to be developed with community feedback expected to be invited later this year.”
On 20 June, Mr Joyce said a re-elected Coalition Government would inject a further $20 million into the project, enabling the town to lock in a better option. NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay also committed an extra $10 million from his Government to ensure the project’s completion.
Mr Joyce said both State and Federal parties committed $45 million each to an outer bypass of the township of Scone. However the proposed plans were not accepted by the community, which pointed out a number of deficiencies.
He said a further scoping and works program was performed by NSW Roads and Maritime Service, resulting in them submitting a better option with an increased price tag at $120 million.
“We’re always working hard on our plans for transport and water infrastructure – and the New England Highway has a growing reputation as a corridor of commerce.
“I am pleased that I can go into bat for my newest constituents in the New England Electorate and to ensure I can lobby for the funding that will not only give Scone an important piece of road infrastructure, but provide benefit to the whole region,” he said.
The submissions report summarising feedback and responses and providing detail on the modifications made to the bypass concept design and community consultation report summarising feedback on the three rail bridge options have been published on the Roads and Maritime website www.rms.nsw.gov.au.