Delivering a metropolis of three cities will require the integration of land use and transport planning to create walkable and 30-minute cities. To achieve this, the Future Transport 2056 and A Metropolis of Three Cities propose the concept of a 30-minute city.
The vision for Greater Sydney is one where people can access jobs and services in their nearest metropolitan and strategic centre.
Planning for the Western City District can set in place the long-term structure of the District to benefit future generations. Fulfilling this outcome will require the consideration of a number of the objectives from A Metropolis of Three Cities which seek to deliver walkable and 30-minute cities through integrated land use and transport planning; better connected and more competitive economic corridors; competitive and efficient freight and logistics sector; and regional transport connections integrated with land use planning.
The Australian and NSW governments have undertaken a joint Scoping Study to identify a long-term Preferred Network that sets out a vision for passenger rail to serve both Western Sydney and Western Sydney Airport. The Preferred Network forms a central part of the proposed land use and transport structure for the Western Parkland City.
Building the foundations of the Western Parkland City will involve establishing a land use and transport structure which enables the development and growth of new and existing economic agglomerations. For the Western City District, these include the Western Economic Corridor, Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis, Liverpool, Greater Penrith, Campbelltown-Macarthur and the Western Sydney Employment Area.
The Western City District will need to be more than these economic agglomerations. The structure of the District also needs to deliver liveability and sustainability outcomes. In this context, the District has an opportunity to develop a new city founded in the parkland setting of the Metropolitan Rural Area and surrounding bushland, centred on South Creek. The setting can create a unique identity by establishing a land use and transport structure which enables economic agglomerations. It is a place where the city meets the country and national parks frame the city.
By 2056, the combined population of Greater Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong will be approximately 10 million people. Potential northsouth transport connections including the Outer Sydney Orbital corridor between the Western City District, Newcastle, Goulburn, Canberra and Illawarra will enable greater economic opportunities. These inter-regional links will also influence the development of a land use and transport structure for the Western City District
Therefore, the development of a land use and transport structure for the District needs to consider the coordination of the numerous land use and infrastructure initiatives across the region. These include:
- Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis
- First stage of a North South Rail Link from St Marys to Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis
- Growth areas: Greater Penrith to Eastern Creek, Western Sydney Airport, South West, Greater Macarthur and Wilton
- Western Sydney employment area
- South Creek Corridor Project (Infrastructure NSW initiative)
- Urban investigation areas as identified in A Metropolis of Three Cities, including:
- Orchard Hills, north of the Defence Establishment Orchard Hills and west of St Clair
- east of The Northern Road at Luddenham, between the Western Sydney Airport Growth Area and the water pipeline
- Horsley Park and Mount Vernon, located west of the M7 Motorway.
- The Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan which includes upgrades to the Northern Road, Bringelly Road and the M12
- potential new city shaping transport corridors and other city-serving, centre-serving and strategic freight network initiatives as identified in Future Transport 2056 including:
- a North South Rail Link between Cudgegong Road and St Marys and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis and Macarthur
- Western Sydney Airport - Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis to Parramatta train link
- Leppington to Western Sydney Airport - Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis train link
- Outer Sydney Orbital road and freight rail
- Sydney Metro City & Southwest extension between Bankstown and Liverpool
- M5 extension between Liverpool and the Outer Sydney Orbital.
Western Sydney City Deal Commitments: Connectivity
Rail for the Western Parkland City
Rapid bus services
Integrating land use and infrastructure initiatives will aim to:
- connect (and improve) public transport access to the new and existing metropolitan cluster and strategic centres
- provide efficient north-south and east-west transport connectivity within and to the Western City District
- prioritise the identification and protection of infrastructure corridors
- provide industrial and freight activities with good access to the strategic freight network including motorways and rail
- utilise open space including South Creek and its tributaries, as the defining design element (refer to Planning Priority W13).
There are a number of planning initiatives that will shape the Western City District:
- The Western Economic Corridor is integral to creating more jobs and a diversity of jobs in the Western City District, and creating new economic agglomerations. It will be supported by the first stage in a North South Rail Link and potential extensions to the north and south, including a potential rail connection to Leppington.
- New passenger rail in Western Sydney will play a major role in connecting to the airport and shaping the future growth and development of the Western Parkland City with the Australian and NSW governments jointly committing to delivering the first stage of the North South Rail Link from St Marys to Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis via Western Sydney Airport. The new North South Rail Link will create the spine of the Western Parkland City and play a vital role in bringing people closer to job opportunities, health, education and leisure activities. New train stations will support development of higher density housing with great transport access, meaning shorter travel times, less reliance on cars and less congestion on roads.
- The metropolitan cluster comprises Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis as well as Liverpool, Greater Penrith and Campbelltown-Macarthur and their health and education precincts (refer to Planning Priority W9).
- The Western Sydney Airport Growth Area provides local people with better access to jobs within and around the airport, as well as infrastructure and services for local residents. The area includes parts of the Broader Western Sydney Employment Area.
- The South West Growth Area provides more land for housing to enable access to a range of housing choices. The new suburbs will benefit from connections with Western Sydney Airport and the broader Western Sydney Employment Area. This includes building on the opportunities of investment in major infrastructure like Camden Valley Way, Bringelly Road and The Northern Road upgrades.
- The Greater Penrith to Eastern Creek Growth Area will build on the opportunities created by the Western Economic Corridor and seek to enhance the integration of land use and transport planning to guide redevelopment opportunities and identify the infrastructure required to support continued growth (refer to Planning Priority W5).
- The emerging South Creek corridor will be a key organising principle for the growing Western Parkland City. It will form an urban parkland with high liveability, including attractive neighbourhoods for future workers, allowing them to work and live within the District (refer to Planning Priority W13).
- The Western Parkland City is a place that meets the country and where the Metropolitan Rural Area, Western Sydney Parklands and the national parks and reserves of the Protected Natural Area including the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area frame the city. This unique setting provides the opportunity to derive tourism benefits linked to the District's natural, recreational and agricultural assets.
Land use planning for the urban area of the Western City District has been historically focussed along rail lines. In 2004, a decision was made to expand the urban areas to the south west and north west. The District's connecting north-south and east-west areas to support these new areas are located many kilometres apart.
During the morning peak, 51 per cent9 of residents commute outside the District for work. Further, limited public transport access to the District's metropolitan cluster or strategic centres means most journeys are made by car, which increases traffic congestion over short distances. Consequently, many of the District's residents have less choice about where they work. However, many enjoy the lifestyle benefit of living within a rural or bushland setting.
Future Transport 2056 and A Metropolis of Three Cities propose a well-connected city based on the concept of 'a 30-minute city'. The 30-minute city is a long-term aspiration that will guide decision-making on new locations for transport, housing, jobs, tertiary education, hospitals and other amenities. It means that more people will have public transport access to their closest metropolitan city or strategic centre within 30 minutes, enabling efficient access to workplaces, services and community facilities.
As Sydney transitions to a metropolis of three cities, convenient and reliable access for customers by public transport to their nearest metropolitan cluster or strategic centre is increasingly important. This will support:
- liveability, reducing the need for long commutes and spreading transport demand
- productivity, reducing the time people spend travelling and increasing people's access to jobs and services
- sustainability, increasing the proportion of trips by public transport and walking or cycling, and reducing emissions.
Delivering on a 30-minute city and integrating land use and transport planning, including attracting business investment and jobs must consider:
- the importance of establishing a north-south and east-west transport structure
- building on current commitments and projects under construction
- the long-term city-shaping, city-serving and centre-serving transport networks vision for Greater Sydney
- the city-shaping influence of the first stage of a North South Rail Link, and a potential north south extensions
- prioritising the identification and protection of infrastructure corridors.
As the Western City District grows, planning and investment will integrate land use, transport and infrastructure, recognising and harnessing the cityshaping role of transport infrastructure. Initiatives to support integration in line with population and economic growth include:
- city-shaping transport providing higher speed and volume linkages to better connect people to centres and services including proposed links between the metropolitan cluster and to the Central River City
- capacity and reliability improvements on existing transport corridors serving metropolitan and strategic centres, for example the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan including the new M12 Motorway
- improved city-serving and centre-serving transport links between strategic centres, and as feeders into city-shaping corridors including rapid bus connections to Western Sydney Airport - Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis.
- improvements to the strategic road network which may include both new roads and road space re-allocation to prioritise the efficient movement of people and goods on transport corridors and key intersections to improve movement through the District and access to strategic centres
- strategic freight network improvements including the Western Sydney Freight Line and the Maldon-Dombarton rail link and a potential new intermodal
- travel behaviour change programs to help manage demand on the transport network
- investment in Smart Roads, which will support the financial sustainability of the transport system by better using existing road infrastructure, and will enable future forms of mobility, such as connected and automated vehicles.
The NSW Government is planning for the long-term strategic transport needs of Greater Sydney by identifying and protecting corridors of land that can be used to deliver transport and infrastructure in the future when it is needed. Major infrastructure corridor planning may involve protecting land to avoid encroachment of urban development and allows sensible planning so that future infrastructure does not inhibit new development opportunities.
Future transport infrastructure corridors are identified in Future Transport 2056.
The corridors will define the shape, scale and function of the Western City District, and provide for future rail, passenger, road and freight movements. In assessing potential infrastructure corridors, economic, social and environmental outcomes are considered as well as their integration with the long-term land use and transport vision for the area. The NSW Government is investigating corridors including:
- the Western Sydney Freight Line, which will connect the Southern Sydney Freight Line to a potential intermodal terminal site in Western Sydney and the Outer Sydney Orbital (motorway and freight rail) providing a connection with the main West Rail Line
- the Outer Sydney Orbital, a future north-south corridor that could ultimately co-locate a future motorway and freight rail between the Central Coast and the Illawarra with connections to the Western City District and Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis
- the North South Rail Link, a future city-shaping transport corridor for the Western Parkland City connecting new suburbs in the north west and south west with Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis
- A south-west rail link to connect Leppington to the Western Sydney Airport via an interchange at Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis
- the Bells Line of Road-Castlereagh Connection, a proposed strategic road between Kurrajong Heights and the motorway network at the junction of Richmond Road and the M7, which would improve east-west connectivity and access to regional NSW.
Source: Transport for NSW
Note: Timing, staging and station/stop locations for new corridors are indicative and subject to further assessment.
The city-serving network will provide high-frequency services within approximately 10 kilometres of the metropolitan centres and metropolitan cluster. This will support public transport access within some of the highest density residential areas in Greater Sydney where demand for travel is most concentrated. As these inner urban areas in the three cities develop further, the NSW Government will investigate increasing the reliability and frequency of these public transport services.
The city-serving network enables and supports higher density residential areas by offering convenient and reliable connectivity to key destinations.
The current city-serving network is characterised by scheduled ferry, bus, light rail and train services as well as walking and cycling networks. The network provides access across the Eastern Harbour City and the Central River City and in some centres with the Western Parkland City.
Over the next 10 years the NSW Government has committed to increasing the capacity of the city- serving network. This includes increasing the role of public transport through greater prioritisation of bus services along city-serving corridors and within centres to improve 30-minute access, and investing in priority walking and cycling networks around the centres.
The NSW Government will also investigate improvements to the frequency of public transport services, including more on-demand-services, across all city-serving modes of public transport to improve 30-minute access and support growth.
By 2036, the areas surrounding the Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis will be more urbanised than today. Residents within these areas will require reliable, fast and frequent public transport to access jobs and services. The NSW Government is committed to meeting the transport needs of residents and will investigate how emerging technology and on-demand services will help meet the needs of Western Parkland City residents.
The protection of other longer term transport corridors as identified in Future Transport 2056 will form part of an integrated land use and transport strategy to:
- provide greater certainty to planners, landholders, the development industry and local councils
- enable significant cost savings to the NSW Government in the future by foreshadowing future infrastructure
- provide for more efficient and effective private sector investment in infrastructure.
Western Economic Corridor
The Australian Government's investment in the Western Sydney Airport and participation in the Western Sydney City Deal will see the emergence of a new international airport for Greater Sydney and the Western Parkland City. The first stage of a North South Rail Link will act as a catalyst for a new Western Economic Corridor for Greater Sydney. New passenger rail in Western Sydney will be more than just connecting to the airport; it will shape and support the future growth and development of the Western Parkland City.
In developing a Western Economic Corridor, consideration needs to be given to planning for the city-shaping and city-serving transport connections discussed in Future Transport 2056 and shown on the Figure on the previous page. In addition the following points should be considered:
- maximising the opportunity to have both strategic and local centres on the first stage of the North South Rail Link and potential extensions taking advantage of local economic activity which will be created by the more than 1.5 million people who will live in the Western Parkland City by 2056
- providing east-west transport links which directly connect to centres on the potential north-south train corridor
- connecting the potential North South Rail Link extensions to existing and planned transport corridors including to the Sydney Metro Northwest and to the health and education assets at Campbelltown-Macarthur and Greater Penrith and the existing centres which would:
- enhance the opportunities for economic activity at Marsden Park
- create a range of development opportunities at a potential interchange with the Richmond rail line at Schofields
- provide Western City District residents with access to tertiary education and knowledge intensive jobs along the Sydney Metro Northwest corridor, including at Norwest and Macquarie Park
- further connect economic activity and access for labour to a wider number of jobs.
Efficient north-south and east-west transport links will connect people to jobs and places to support the Western Economic Corridor. This will provide greater access to education, employment and business opportunities, and improve the efficiency of freight.
Planning for the Western City District should therefore consider:
- creating east-west and north-south city serving and centre-serving transport links which directly connect to new centres.
- upgrading Bringelly Road, the Northern Road, the M12 and the potential east-west links which could include an extension of the LiverpoolParramatta T-way
- enhancing and creating east-west and northsouth road-based transport links which support the emerging Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis and connect them to Liverpool, Greater Penrith and CampbelltownMacarthur, such as Elizabeth Drive, Fifteenth Avenue, Western Road and Devonshire Road, investigated as part of the integrated land use and infrastructure planning for the Western Sydney Airport Growth Area
- prioritising the planning and delivery of east-west and north-south roads to facilitate access to strategic centres including such as the potential Badgally Road transport corridor to Campbelltown, Spring Farm Parkway and The Horsley Drive.
In order to support further growth, Transport for NSW will investigate city shaping and cityserving transport corridors, including the Western Sydney Airport - Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis to Parramatta train link, bus connections across the district and to the Illawarra and passenger train improvements south of Macarthur.
Current commitments and projects under construction
In the short term, the structure and land use planning of the District will be influenced by the commitments from the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan and Western Sydney Growth Roads Program.
These will deliver new roads and road upgrades across Western Sydney and meet traffic demand from the Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis and surrounding centres.
The Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan includes the new M12 Motorway and The Northern Road and Bringelly Road upgrades. The Western Sydney Growth Roads Program includes upgrades to Narellan Road, Campbelltown Road, Jane Street and Mulgoa Road and Appin Road with intersection upgrades at Menangle Park.
Other transport projects that are currently committed in Western City District include:
- the M4 Smart Motorway project will introduce intelligent technology to allow for a smarter way of travelling the M4 by using real-time information, communication and traffic management tools to provide motorists with a safer, smoother and more reliable journey. The project will cut congestion and reduce travel time, providing benefits to customers travelling between the Western Parkland City and the Central River city
- upgrades to the Blue Mountains train line which will deliver upgraded rail infrastructure allowing the complex rail network to operate at an even greater capacity and will accommodate new and existing trains.
Long term transport network vision
Future Transport 2056 and A Metropolis of Three Cities outline the principal elements of the vision for the city-shaping transport network including the strategic road network. This needs to be considered as part of the planning for Greater Sydney.
Future Transport 2056 also outlines the vision for the city-serving and centre-serving network initiatives including walking and cycling, the strategic freight network and other future transport initiatives.
The city-serving network will provide high frequency services within approximately 10 kilometres of the metropolitan cluster. For the District, initiatives include:
- rapid bus connections between Western Sydney Airport - Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis and Greater Penrith, Liverpool, Blacktown and Campbelltown-Macarthur including new bus links, or the implementation of bus priority on existing and new roads to enable efficient and reliable bus links between the identified centres
- a trial of on-demand public transport in Edmondson Park and Wetherill Park, where commuters can book a bus from or near their home to a local transport hub or other centre, including hospitals
- implementation of the Bus Head Start program to ensure that residents of new release areas have access to high quality bus services from day one of occupation, and to maximise the demand for public transport services and reduce the reliance on private vehicles.
Other transport initiatives within the Western City District include:
- improved service on the Richmond Line to support improved reliability, capacity and journey times on the Richmond Line
- passenger train improvements south of Macarthur to support growth at Wilton
- faster rail improvements between Sydney and Canberra to improve rail travel times and economic synergies
- investment in Smart Roads, which will support the financial sustainability of the transport system by better using existing road infrastructure, and enable future forms of mobility such as connected and automated vehicles
- future transport technology integrated into the new metropolitan area that could include technology such as connected and automated vehicles.
Improving walking and cycling
Walking is a fundamental part of the transport system and most journeys start and end with walking. Creating pleasant and safe environments for walking and cycling contribute to great places.
Prioritising safe cycling for short trips to centres, transport interchanges and local services such as schools and health services will free capacity for people who need to travel further by road and public transport.
Transport for NSW is establishing a bicycle network hierarchy in collaboration with councils. The Principal Bicycle Network will establish high quality, high-priority routes to facilitate safe and direct connections to centres. This network will form the transport layer of the Greater Sydney Green Grid.
Regional and local routes identified in local government bike plans, will connect to the Principal Bicycle Network to facilitate a seamless and connected network within urban areas. Local streets will connect to these routes to provide door-to-door access for cycling.
Secure bicycle parking and end-of-trip facilities should be provided in centres to support cycling throughout the District.
Designing adaptable infrastructure
The 21st century is an era of unprecedented and rapidly accelerating change. Innovation and the digital economy are dramatically changing the way people and goods move around Greater Sydney, providing more efficient service delivery.
Technological advances have created new mobility options including automated vehicles, assisted mobility devices such as e-bikes, automated trains and buses, and enhanced aerial mobility. Strategic planning must harness innovation and accommodate new technologies to create new opportunities for improved productivity and accessibility to jobs, goods and services.
Throughout Greater Sydney there are many examples where councils and State agencies are embracing new technologies to promote adaptable infrastructure. The NSW Government is introducing intelligent technology known as a managed motorway system (or smart motorways), to Sydney's motorways, with work already commenced on the M4 Smart Motorway project.
Transport for NSW is also trialling a driverless passenger bus to observe how automated vehicles can improve the mobility of customers and interact with other people. In planning for adaptable infrastructure, planning must consider opportunities for more flexible design of streets and public spaces, for example through car parking strategies.
Freight and logistics movement
Changes are occurring in the freight and logistics sector, in part driven by technology changes and related changes to some retail business models. These changes, together with demand for increased freight activities by population growth across Greater Sydney, will create significant short, medium and long-term growth in the freight and logistics sector in the Western Parkland City.
Providing for a growing District requires an efficient and effective rail freight and road network integrated with trade gateways, in particular Western Sydney Airport. As most of Greater Sydney's freight is moved on the road network, an efficient road network will reduce congestion on roads and delays in freight and logistics movements. A dedicated freight rail connection from Port Botany in the Eastern Harbour City to the Western Parkland City will increase the proportion of freight moved by rail.
Separating freight and passenger services, particularly on train corridors, will create efficient and reliable freight journeys supported by 24/7 rail access between gateways and intermodal terminals and convenient access to centres. The proposed Western Sydney Freight Line will boost the economic potential of surrounding industrial precincts such as Smithfield and the metropolitan significant Wetherill Park to Villawood industrial corridor and enhance connections to the Western Sydney Employment Area.
By 2036, the Western Sydney Employment Area will be a key destination for cargo, with metropolitan intermodal terminals being critical for managing the rapidly growing import container trade and enabling more freight to be moved by rail10. Duplication of the Port Botany rail line and a dedicated freight line and intermodal terminal for Western Sydney that connect to the Outer Sydney Orbital will support economic growth - driving employment and increasing the amount of freight carried on rail that will reduce heavy vehicle trips on the Sydney Road Network11.
This infrastructure will be considered in a land use and infrastructure implementation plan for the Western Sydney Airport Growth Area. This will coordinate the approach to employmentled planning and development and early urban development zones (aerospace, advanced manufacturing, intermodal trade, logistics and freight, industrial).
The Western Sydney Airport Growth Area was declared to provide local people with better access to jobs within and around the airport, as well as infrastructure and services for local residents. It includes parts of the Western Sydney Employment Area and land south to Bringelly Road. The Western Sydney Employment Area with over 6,000 hectares of additional land for future industrial activity is expected to provide more than 57,000 jobs over the next 30 years.
With the development of Western Sydney Airport - Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis it will be critical, from the outset, to secure the access requirements for the airport and off-site industrial land for its 24/7 operation. Freight and logistic services must locate to support Western Sydney Airport. Buffer zones will avoid locating sensitive uses, like residential development, close to industrial and urban services land.
As the Western City District develops, opportunities to improve freight network efficiencies, including a Western Sydney Fuel Pipeline to Western Sydney Airport, will become increasingly important. The District must also connect port and airport activities, linking Western Sydney Airport, Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and a potentially expanded container port at Port Kembla via the Outer Sydney Orbital.
As population growth and commercial development occurs in the District, the need for freight movements, including parcel delivery vehicles, will rise. Freight movements can have negative impacts on the amenity of neighbourhoods, such as noise and additional congestion on roads, particularly during the morning peak. Freight movements outside of peak can help reduce congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and freight costs. The planning and design of communities should take a balanced approach to minimising the negative impacts, and supporting more efficient freight movements including the growing demand for parcel deliveries and on-demand freight. This could include considering how development addresses busy roads, the siting of loading docks and how more freight movements can happen out of peak hours.
Investment in potential dedicated freight corridors will allow a more efficient freight and logistics network. Moorebank Intermodal Terminal is currently under construction in western Sydney, and will provide an integrated service including interstate terminals, warehousing, retail and service offerings, and rail connection to the Southern Sydney Freight Line, which also provides dedicated freight rail access all the way to Port Botany. Transport for NSW and the Australian Government are committed to supporting efficient movement of goods close to the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal by facilitating freight rail and road access.
A new intermodal terminal in Western Sydney will be investigated by 2036. The location, yet to be determined, will be connected to the proposed Western Sydney Freight Line. This intermodal terminal with its connections to Port Botany, and in the longer term a potential Maldon-Dombarton rail link and the Outer Sydney Orbital, will play an important role in providing a dedicated freight rail network in Greater Sydney. The intermodal terminal, essentially acting as an inland port, will strengthen connections between the Western City District, Port Botany and Port Kembla, supporting container movements by rail in Greater Sydney. The District also has the potential to become a nationally significant freight and logistics hub through its connections to the national and regional NSW transport networks. This includes primary freight links over the Great Dividing Range through the Main Western rail link; the M4 Motorway/ Great Western Highway that transport mineral and agricultural exports from regional NSW to ports; and the Hume Highway which connects to Canberra and further to Melbourne. These links form part of the National Land Transport Network that carries freight to and from Adelaide and Perth as well as locally and regionally to Dubbo, Newcastle, the Illawarra region and Port Kembla. Development of the Western City District provides unprecedented opportunities to realise a national freight and logistics role for the District by building on its competitive advantages and leveraging off Western Sydney Airport, existing freight infrastructure, interregional connections and a substantial supply of large lots of land.
Opportunities include prioritising the Western Sydney Freight Line, the Outer Sydney Orbital and a potential intermodal terminal; facilitating agribusiness by allocating land within the Western Parkland City for agricultural export logistics; and delivering the Western Sydney Airport Growth Area, which is considered as a regional resource of industrial and employment land serving Greater Sydney.