Decentralisation plans come to a sudden halt
Plans by Infrastructure NSW to continue moving hundreds of thousands of people from Sydney's west to east every day are unsustainable, experts warn.
"The most extraordinary thing about the transport plan is its major ideas for western Sydney take place in eastern Sydney," said Professor Phillip O'Neill (pictured), of the Urban Research Centre.
"They think that the only future for 2 million-plus people in western Sydney is to find jobs in eastern Sydney."
The State Infrastructure Strategy 2012-2032 is heavily focused on building roads rather than rail or dedicated bus corridors.
Dr O'Neill said government rhetoric about decentralising Sydney to regional centres in Parramatta, Liverpool and Penrith had not been put into plans.
Sydney's congestion problems were caused by the concentration of jobs in eastern Sydney and an illogical scattering of employment throughout the west, he said. "The only two successful employment centres in western Sydney over the past two decades have been Sydney Olympic Park and Norwest," he said.
"Government travel data shows 97 per cent of workers in those two business parks travel by car."
Dr Awais Piracha, of the University of Western Sydney's geography and Urban Studies department, said rail lines such as Parramatta to Epping would be more efficient than the proposed WestConnex motorway.
"Historical experience says roads and highways aren't very helpful," he said. "The capacity of a motorway is about 5000 people per hour and on a railway it's up to 50,000 people per hour.
"You build a motorway and in a few years the capacity is fully utilised. You make people rely on cars and you have this unbelievable level of congestion."