13 December 2023

Community urged to have a say on long-awaited M1 ramps proposed for Dapto

| Keeli Royle
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woman standing on overpass

Shellharbour MP Anna Watson has announced the start of planning for on- and off-ramps at Dapto. Photo: Supplied.

Planning is underway to improve connectivity and reduce congestion across a major Illawarra corridor, with the NSW Government looking to deliver its election promise to get the ball rolling on entry and exit ramps on the M1 at Dapto.

Transport for NSW is seeking feedback from the community on the proposal to provide more south-facing ramps at locations such as Kanahooka, Fowlers and Emerson roads.

Initiating investigations on these important pieces of infrastructure was a key promise by NSW Labor heading into the last election, after decades of campaigns and petitions by locals and discontent growing even further with southbound motorists from Dapto being unable to access the new Albion Park Rail Bypass.

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But the last budget finally brought some hope for residents.

“We committed $10 million to plan for new south-facing ramps to improve safety, efficiency and connectivity in and around Dapto,” Shellharbour MP Anna Watson said.

“Transport for NSW wants to hear feedback from the community on how they want to access the motorway from Dapto and surrounding suburbs.

“This feedback will help us determine, alongside other data, which option is the best fit for the community.”

Demand for the project and improved access is only set to increase, with a fast-growing population focused particularly around West Dapto and surrounding suburbs.

“The Illawarra-Shoalhaven population is expected to grow by around 100,000 extra people by 2041, increasing the total population of the region to around 505,000 people,” Ms Watson said.

“This growth will deliver new homes, jobs and services, and influence travel behaviours and demands on the transport network.”

As part of its early planning work, Transport for NSW will also create modelling of the broader road network and explore how the ramps could impact a potential future interchange at Yallah.

The interchange would aim to provide additional access onto the M1 Princes Motorway at the northern end of the Albion Park Rail Bypass and improve connectivity into the West Lake Illawarra Growth Area.

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Alternative ways to improve efficiency along the M1 are also being investigated, including infrastructure upgrades, new public transport services and other options outside of the immediate motorway corridor, to enhance the experiences of road users across different travel modes.

Further details on specific improvements are set to be announced at a later date.

As part of the community consultation on the project, residents and road users are being urged to provide feedback on their priorities and habits through the NSW Government website, with submissions closing on Monday, 12 February, 2024.

In-person consultation sessions are being planned for early next year, but no dates are currently set.

“After feedback is received, Transport for NSW will then carry out detailed planning work to confirm the preferred location of the additional ramps and determine the impacts on the local road and motorway network,” Ms Watson said.

Early planning is set to be completed by late 2024, although no funding has so far been allocated for construction of the project.

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