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A Paper to identify the nexus between Wyong Shire’s Township master Plans, the Wyong Township’s Transport Precinct and the NSW Road and Maritime Services Proposal
The drive to put a four lane highway through the township
By David Holland, B.A.S. Env. Plan. Grad. Dip. Env. Mgmt.
Over the last few years the Road Traffic Authority has been updating the Pacific Highway on the Central Coast . It has been prioritising the work by widening the most needed sections first. In the last 2 years the road between Wyong Road and the Wyong river has been completed to the 4 lane standard. This has improved traffic flow from the Tuggerah Business and commercial precinct. With this stretch of road the RTA has incorporated a secragated bike track as well as bus priority lanes. This section of road has been well thought out and is a quality segment of road.
The next stage is the crossing of Wyong River and pushing a renewed road through the township of Wyong.
Over the last three years the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has engaged in several community consultation campaigns. The first was directed to residence in the locality, explaining some of the alternative proposals put up by the RMS, none of which fully addressed the concerns presented in the submission to the RMS.
Various groups and individuals have contributed to the number of options that could be made to enable the Pacific Highway traffic to flow through the Township.
Some include the diversion of the traffic to a new ramp to the freeway. The RMS suggested that this would skew traffic flows towards minor streets in the western parts of the town causing traffic problems in these areas.
The Baker Street Master Plan
This is a Wyong Council master plan which is located immediately to the east of the railway station. It will allow multi-storey development in both commercial and residential forms. It is a pivotal plan for any realistic development for the township.
The River foreshore Master Plan
The river foresaw master plan is located on the Wyong river to the south-east of the Transport Precinct. Although some re-design may need to be incorporated into the plan due to new considerations of sea level rise introduced in 2010, this is potentially a necessary expansion for the town. It
will provide the potential for additional residential developments .
Both master plans will add to the attractiveness of the township as a residential location and provide the much-needed consolidation to development around the township to ensure the viability of both the shopping opportunities within the town and the transport precinct.
The Town Plan ( DCP 7)
The existing town has a heritage constraint on development, but will be able to be redeveloped over time under the Development Control Plan (DCP) 7 for the Shire. In addition adjacent and within the confines of DCP 7 a cultural Master Plan was released in 2011. This will be developed to further enhance the township experience.
The Transport Precinct
The current transport precinct consists of the railway station, bus interchange, a commuter car park and a taxi rank. In close proximity to the interchange are several small take away and coffee shops. Although the precinct works well a number of issues are evident concerning it.
1. Security and the misbehaviour of public transport users
2. Many people use the interchange to transfer to other designations and spend little time in the town.
3. As the station is the most northerly permanently attended station by railway staff on the Central Coast and has good ticketing facilities and good car parking facilities, many commuters prefer to drive to this station in preference to other stations closer to their place of residence. In addition, although the bus services are improving, many commuters find the private car more convenient and faster to get to the train at this station.
The Future role for the historic town
When problems with the fragmentation of the town by the proposed roadway are overcome and suitable inducements are created for developers to develop the master plans to the east of the town, the town will hold a good future as a business centre for the region. This business sector would then be supported by a commercial retail, and service sector within the town. With the appropriate transport precinct at the heart of the town, it will emerge that most of the movement around the small town will be as a pedestrian.
To read the recommendations put forward by the Wyong Planning Committee of the CEN, after considerable consultation with a range of local organisations including Wyong Shire Council click on the link.