The SCATL backpeddle – Submission guide for the NSW Government’s wound back active transport route proposal

Background

The NSW government has changed the planned route for the Sutherland to Cronulla Active Transport Link (SCATL).  But the new plan doesn’t provide a better route for cyclists and walkers, or a safer means of active transport.  Instead, it places cyclists at risk from having to ride alongside major roads and negotiate crossing busy apartment block driveways.  The route has also been cut short.  It doesn’t even continue to Woolooware and the Cronulla Mall, popular areas with a real need for transport options that don’t add more cars to our already choked roads.

Shire residents are being short-changed with the proposed new route.  The original planned and promised route was along the rail corridor.   Moving the path onto the side of busy roads is not safe or efficient for cyclists and there is no tangible improvement for walkers over existing footpaths.

SCATL was meant to function as the spine of a growing active transport network for the Shire, helping to ease the traffic congestion that is driven by the NSW government’s unrestrained approval of high-density housing.  Removing it from the train corridor and shunting it onto a busy road is condemning it to failure.

The original SCATL plan located the main route along the rail corridor.
The new plan moves the route away from the rail corridor to alongside busy roads.

We have until 17 May to tell the NSW government that Sutherland Shire deserves better. than this disappointing proposal.

More information

Information is available on the Transport NSW SCATL Stage 2 webpage.
See also the Your Say Transport NSW webpage.

How to have your say

Public consultation on the proposed new route is open until 5pm Monday 17 May 2021.  Have your say by commenting in one of the following 3 ways:

  1. leave your feedback or questions on the preferred route at:  yoursay.transport.nsw.gov.au/SCATL
  2. email projects@transport.nsw.gov.au with your feedback
  3. write a letter with your feedback and post to Associate Director Environmental Impact (SCATL), PO Box K659, Haymarket NSW 1240

Submission points

Here are some points that you might like to include, with options for a short submission (which takes about 5 – 10 mins) and a longer submission (which takes up to 30 mins or more).  You can write as much or as little as you like.  Whichever channel you use to send your feedback, we suggest that you state clearly upfront that you strongly object to the new proposal.

Short submission

The fastest way to make a submission is to email projects@transport.nsw.gov.au.

  1. State your name and contact details
  2. State clearly that you strongly object to the new proposal
  3. Provide brief reasons for your objection.  Some suggestions are:
    – The SCATL was supposed to follow the rail corridor.  The proposed new route is inferior, indirect and inefficient.  No convincing rationale has been provided.  The original plan for the “Spine” of the route along the rail corridor should not be abandoned.
    – Hundreds of driveways and many intersections will need to be crossed on this new route, making it unsafe.
    – The Sutherland Cronulla Active Transport Link doesn’t even reach Cronulla, but stops short of Woolooware.
    – Diverting the path to the busy thoroughfare of Kingsway will make it unpleasant for walking or cycling and its hills and traffic signals will make it slow and inefficient.
    – One of the least expensive solutions to the traffic congestion that the NSW Government’s unfettered approval of high density housing development in the Shire has created is the provision of a high-quality, safe and efficient active transport route along the rail corridor.  Smaller, less expensive connectivity to suburbs and services can be added after this crucial “Spine” is established.

Longer submission

1. Basic information
If you are emailing or posting your feedback: Be sure to include your name and contact details.

If you are using the online form: Questions 1 to 7 ask for basic information about yourself and for your contact details.  Questions 8 to 12 ask about your usage of and support for active transport.

2. State your strong objection to the new proposal

We suggest that you state that you “strongly object” to the proposal, to send a clear message to the NSW State Government that we need a safe and efficient active transport route and that the backbone of our active transport system should be placed back in the rail corridor where it belongs.

If you are using the online form, this is Qu 13.

3. State which part of the network you are providing feedback on

We suggest that you provide feedback on all the areas. 

  • Kirrawee
  • Gymea
  • Miranda
  • Caringbah
  • Cronulla
  • Other (please specify)

If you are using the online form, this is Qu 14

4. Feedback on the different parts of the proposed new route.

The following points may be helpful for providing your feedback

Kirrawee:

  • SCATL was supposed to be in the rail corridor. The new route is on Village Place which is problematic due to high volume of people and cars accessing shops and apartments. It is not safe or efficient.
  • There is no tangible improvement for walkers over existing footpaths.
  • Pouring more concrete and painting it green is a waste of resources if it does not provide a safe, efficient and pleasant route.

Gymea:

  • There is insufficient detail to indicate which side of the Kingsway the route will be but either side is so substandard, inefficient and dangerous for cyclists compared to use of the rail corridor.
  • Regardless of which side of Kingsway the route takes, it will involve crossing many driveways, some for high density apartment blocks.
  • There are many traffic signals along the route, which will slow down and endanger cyclists.
  • There is already a footpath so the proposed new route does nothing to enhance walking along a busy road and in fact may require the removal of trees to create a shared path which will make it even less pleasant.

Miranda:

  • This is not a good route compared to the rail corridor for the same reasons as stated for Gymea.
  • An issue with SCATL in the rail corridor in Miranda as not being able to provide sufficient exit points could be easily solved by reserving this section for ‘cyclists only’ as a faster rate of travel means less exits are required. Pedestrians in this section could use the existing footpath on Karimbla Rd.  
  • The steep incline between Jackson Avenue and Port Hacking makes it a less desirable route for both walkers and cyclists. 

Caringbah:

  • The section along the Kingsway has the same problems as mentioned previously – no one wants to cycle along a busy road with driveways and traffic signals. There is no tangible improvement for walkers over existing footpaths and it is dangerous and inefficient for cyclists.
  • If the section along Denman is on the Southern side, that would at least eliminate the problem with driveways.

Woolooware:

  • Stage 2 of SCATL was supposed to provide a safe, direct route to Cronulla mall. This new proposal ends at Gannons road and access to Cronulla mall is very indirect, providing access via Shark park and the North Side of Wanda. SCATL was supposed to be the backbone of the Shire’s active transport network. Shire residents are being short-changed with this proposed route.

Cronulla:

  • Same comment as for Woolooware. The need for direct routing to the commercial area of Cronulla that has the highest need for a high-quality, efficient active transport corridor is no longer part of the proposal.  

5. What are the opportunities for improvement on the proposed route?

If you are using the online form, this is Qu 21.

  • Put it back into the rail corridor as planned and promised. In November, 2020 the NSW State government committed $710 million towards Active Transport for the next 4 years. Less than $24 million of these funds have been allocated for this current financial year. 
  • State Government approvals are responsible for the rapid increase in high density housing in the Shire, including the enormous Woolooware Shores and Kirrawee South Village developments. One of the least expensive solutions to the traffic congestion this has created is the provision of high-quality, safe and efficient active transport network.
  • SCATL is meant to function as the spine of this network with smaller, less expensive connectivity to suburbs added later. Removing it from the train corridor and shunting it onto a busy road is condemning it to failure.

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