Residents rail against NorthConnex

No more: SCAPS residents at the intersection of Oakes and Aiken roads in West Pennant Hills. SCAPS is urging the community to attend a NorthConnex information session, look over the material on display and ask questions of the NorthConnex team. Picture: Natalie Roberts

No more: SCAPS residents at the intersection of Oakes and Aiken roads in West Pennant Hills. SCAPS is urging the community to attend a NorthConnex information session, look over the material on display and ask questions of the NorthConnex team. Picture: Natalie Roberts

A group of residents are concerned about the impact NorthConnex's heavy vehicles will bring to already congested streets.

SCAPS — Southern Community Against Polluting Stacks — spokeswoman Kim Jacobs said West Pennant Hills residents had been "side-swiped" by NorthConnex's plan to send heavy construction vehicles along already congested local streets during the five-years it will take to build the new M2 to M1 tunnel under Pennant Hills Road.

A recently released NorthConnex report has identified local streets that NorthConnex propose to fill with up to 50 heavy vehicle movements an hour during morning peak, and up to 1810 construction vehicle movements a day.

This proposed route means southbound trucks needing to access the southern construction compound would turn right on to Aiken Road, and then access the compound via Oakes Road, Eaton Road, Karloon Road and back into Eaton Road.

But residents say this has to change as these streets are already congested.

Ms Jacobs said many commuters from the surrounding suburbs used these roads for their daily commute, or parked in the local streets to access the buses on Aiken Road, Pennant Hills Road, Oakes Road or the M2.

"Local school children catch buses to and from school on these streets," Ms Jacobs said.

"There are no pedestrian crossings.

"If NorthConnex is allowed to proceed with this plan we expect a number of impacts on the local and greater community including parking restrictions to give more room for their heavy vehicles to negotiate our local streets, even longer traffic delays for commuters and queues of trucks on Karloon and Eaton roads waiting to be called into their construction site.

"We also foresee this having a disastrous effect on our local shops."

Ms Jacobs said SCAPS had proposed an alternative route to NorthConnex using the M2, looping across Windsor Road and back on to the M2 to access their site on Pennant Hills Road.

She said NorthConnex's response was that their alternative M2 route was a viable option and was under investigation.

The Hills Mayor Dr Michelle Byrne says while the council supports the NorthConnex project, "we will raise serious concerns about the use of local roads by heavy trucks as outlined in the Environmental Impact Statement for the project.

"I've already made my thoughts known to Baulkham Hills State MP David Elliott and I am hoping that this issue will be resolved," Cr Byrne said.

Baulkham Hills MP David Elliott said he was "deeply concerned" by the plan and, after speaking to local police, had written to the Minister for Roads to express disappointment and ask for an alternate plan.

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