Approval of Sydney Gateway the latest win for Kingsford Smith in push for better surface access

In early Sep-2018 the New South Wales (NSW) Government approved plans to move ahead with Sydney Gateway, a major multimodal transport infrastructure project comprising a motorway interchange, freight rail, and passenger rail junctions to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport.

The NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) will now begin environmental assessments and community consultation to support the planning process.


Summary:

  • Sydney Gateway to increase capacity and improve connections to the ports to assist with growth in passenger, freight and commuter movements across the region.
  • Time savings of up to 41 minutes in morning peak times are expected.
  • Share of Sydney Airport passengers using rail has grown from 16% in 2012 to 24% in 2017.

RMS expects Sydney Gateway will increase capacity and improve connections to the ports to assist with growth in passenger, freight and commuter movements across the region. It also expects the project will strengthen Sydney’s position as a global city, expanding and improving the existing road and freight rail networks.

The project comprises two main components, divided into road and rail. Road improvements include a new alternative route to the domestic and international airport terminals from the Sydney motorway network at the St Peters Interchange. It also includes a new dedicated flyover from Qantas Drive to the front door of the domestic airport. This route will bypass all traffic lights along major Sydney motorway networks straight to the domestic terminals.

The road developments are expected to deliver time savings of up to 41 minutes in morning peak times, depending on where travellers start their journey.

The rail improvements are simply the construction of a duplicate three-kilometre section of the Port Botany freight rail line, to increase capacity and improve service reliability. This project will be delivered by Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert added: “Sydney Gateway is a game changer for reducing congestion around the airport. Widening Qantas Drive to three lanes in each direction will substantially improve the experience for people travelling to, from, and past the airport. It is exciting to think that soon you will be able to drive from Parramatta to the airport and back without passing through a single traffic light”.

For the airport’s surrounding local community, the delivery of Sydney Gateway will take cars and trucks off local roads, making journeys to and from Sydney Airport easier, faster and with less noise pollution.

Sydney Gateway to build on a range of initiatives already introduced

Sydney Airport has long encouraged airport users to travel to the airport by train – whether they be airport workers or the general public. The company previously advocated for a reduction in the station access fee for workers. In response, the NSW Government placed a weekly cap on the station access fee, to the benefit of the 30,900 people who work on the airport site every day and regular airport travellers.

It has also lobbied for, and supported, government improvements to the airport train link that make it more accessible: for example the NSW Government’s announcement in 2018 of an AUD880 million investment in technology improvements to the Sydney train network, which will increase the number of trains that can run during the morning and afternoon peaks on the T8 Airport Line.

Sydney Airport’s support for public transport is evident in the data. The share of passengers using rail has grown from 16% in 2012 to 24% in 2017, which is a growth rate higher than airport passengers overall. This equates to 33,000 more rail passengers per day across both airport stations. In 2018 alone, train usage to date has grown by 6.2% and the total number of airport passengers has grown by 3.7%. In this same period, paid car parking use has decreased by 7%.