Like many other Sydney motorists I spend approximately $2,500 per year to use the Hills M2 Motorway twice a day, 5 days a week, to get to and from work.
Unfortunately, also like many other Sydney motorists, I make these journey's during peak hours.
For $2,500 I expect a lot better. At least I am not driving a truck as then I would be paying over $7,000 per year!
I can't believe that our roads designers cannot do better. Most days during peak hours traffic crawls on the M2 from the start but somewhere quite a few kilometers from the end it frees up and flows well. It seems that the problems are all around the points where the entrances to the motorway are.
Most of the Hills M2 Motorway is two lanes in each direction with a third "Bus Only" lane. The bus lane can only be used by buses, taxis and hire cars.
I have heard that the RTA was responsible for the choice of two traffic lanes, and that the Hills M2 people wanted more.
On a side note, I have had some correspondence with the RTA and various politicians on the matter of why motorcyclists cannot use the M2 and they claim the decision was made based on safety reasons, due to the potential dangers of joining and leaving the bus lane. Of course taxis and hire cars have managed to do this safely from what I have seen for some time, so maybe the powers that be have a higher opinion of the quality of the average taxi driver's skills than I do... I personally believe that the average motorcyclist has better self-preservation skills. (Sign the petition to change this here
Anyway back to the point. Surely something can be done to improve the peak hour traffic flow on the Hills M2 Motorway.
Here are some ideas they may wish to consider:
1. At all times of the day the two bus lanes are under-utilised. During peak periods, perhaps there is a way that the busy direction bus lane cold be opened up to traffic and the quieter side bus lane could be used for the busy direction buses, and buses travelling in the quieter direction could use the normal traffic lanes.
2. Change the "Bus Only" lane to a T3 or T2.
3. Build another lane where possible, including adding a third east-bound lane to the tunnel, as has been done on the west-bound side. I know this would cause an issue to cyclists but I am sure an alternate path could be found, as was done near the toll-gate area on the west-bound side.
4. Switch to electronic tolling only, as this does seem to affect the west-bound peak hour flow.
Obviously all of the above suggestions will require significant modifications and road work, but an improvement is essential as traffic is progressively getting worse and the motorway cannot keep up with the existing traffic levels now - how will it be in a few years time.
To the persons in charge of the Hills M2 Motorway and the RTA: People are spending $2,500 a year on using the motorway. You have a responsibility to provide a better level of service than is currently being offered.
Note: There is talk of an M2 upgrade, which will also involve an "upgrade" of the toll to $5.50 (adding another couple of hundred dollars to the annual spend). Being a cynic, I suspect most of these upgrades will help primarily bus travellers, cyclists and people who breakdown. Here is an excerpt from the proposal:The RTA proposes to upgrade the M2 Motorway. The Project would widen the existing motorway along 14.5 kilometres of its length.
Features of the upgrade would include:
- Widening and/or provision of a third lane along sections of the eastbound and westbound carriageways between Windsor Road and Lane Cove Road.
- Provision of new on/off ramps at Windsor Road, Christie Road and Herring Road.
- Widening and/or provision of a third lane eastbound and westbound in the Norfolk Tunnel.
- Restoration of the westbound breakdown lane from Lane Cove Road to Beecroft Road.
- Removal of the Beecroft Road bus on/off ramp.
- Upgrade of the M2 Motorway/Windsor Road, Christie Road/Talavera Road and Herring Road/Talavera Road intersections.
- Upgrades to M2 Motorway Intelligent Transport System