- M4 Western Motorway
motorway logo=NSW M4.png
motorway= M4 Western Motorway
destinations= Penrith, Blacktown, Parramatta
Roads and Traffic Authority(RTA), State Wide Roads (SWR)
motorway operator= SWR Operations Pty Limited, RTA
The M4 Western Motorway [ [http://www.ozroads.com.au/NSW/Freeways/M4/m4.htm Western Motorway (M4)] , "Ozroads: the Australian Roads Website". Retrieved on
August 29 2008.] [ [http://www.ozroads.com.au/NSW/Freeways/M4/historicpics.htm Historic Photos] , "Ozroads: the Australian Roads Website". Retrieved on August 29 2008.] [ [http://www.ozroads.com.au/NSW/Freeways/M4/m4-pics.htm M4 Photos Today] , "Ozroads: the Australian Roads Website". Retrieved on August 29 2008.] , (also known as the M4 Motorway or simply M4) is a motorwayin central Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It forms part of Sydney Metroad 4. [ [http://www.m4motorway.com.au SWR M4 Motorway website] , "M4 Motorway Website". Retrieved on August 29 2008.]
The Western Motorway is a partially-tolled motorway, with a toll plaza near Silverwater. It is only necessary to pay a toll if travelling on the motorway between
James Ruse Driveand Silverwater Road, and it is possible to use the majority of the motorway without paying the toll.
The Motorway is mostly 6 lanes wide, and carries constant heavy traffic during daylight hours, seven days a week. Built as a four lane motorway, it was widened to six lanes during 1998 to 2000, but this did little to ease the congestion. Widening the motorway any further would probably not help, as without the M4 East extension (see below), the congestion would just move further east, where traffic is deposited onto surface streets at Strathfield.
Originally planned in the mid 1950's to start in the CBD [ [http://www.ozroads.com.au/NSW/Freeways/M4/constructioninfo.htm Western Motorway (M4) Construction] , "Ozroads: the Australian Roads Website". Retrieved on
August 29 2008.] , the eastern section was only built as far west as Pyrmont as part of the North West Expressway, or F3, a freeway that would connect the Sydney and Newcastle Central Business Districts. This section is now part of the Western Distributor. From there it was to have joined with the Western Expressway, the F4, and the Southern Expressway, the F6, in Glebe [ [http://www.geocities.com/humehwy31/m4.html The M4 Motorway - a history and exit guide] , "Geocities". Retrieved on August 29 2008.] .
On the basis of a pre-election promise made by the
New South Wales Premier Neville Wranin 1976, all land reserved for the expressway between Pyrmont and the current eastern termination point at Strathfield was sold off to property developers or declassified as a freeway corridor in 1977 by the State Government. The proposed expressway ran through the seat held by the Premier Neville Wran.
The decision to abandon this and other freeway corridors has ironically been proven less than 30 years later to be detrimental and not beneficial for the residents of these electorates. The major arterial routes in these areas now suffer from severe traffic congestion. To avoid this traffic congestion local residents and commuters resort to "rat running", the use of secondary and residential roads to avoid traffic gridlock. This has had many negative impacts for the local residents including noise pollution, air pollution, and dangerous substandard road surface conditions resulting from the excessive wear and tear upon them. These secondary and residential roads were never designed to carry enormous amounts of commuter and heavy traffic throughout the day.
A major extension to the M4 has been proposed and has well-advanced plans [ [http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectssydney/m4east M4 East extension] - "
Roads and Traffic Authority". Retrieved on August 29 2008.] . This extension would extend the M4 beyond its current end in Strathfield [ [http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/trafficreports/westsydcameras/index.html RTA traffic webcams] - "Roads and Traffic Authority". Retrieved on August 29 2008.] by approximately 5 kilometres, so that it would subsequently end in Ashfield and be continuous with the City West Link. Further planned upgrades to the City West Link would mean commuters going west out of the city could get to Parramatta without passing through traffic lights. The NSW Government recently outlined a $7 billion plan to link the M4, Victoria Road, City West Link and Sydney Airport using a network of underground tunnels.
April 2005, the NSW state government has shelved plans for the M4 East extension, citing the need for an integrated plan for transport, but possibly to mitigate residents in affected suburbs which would have been affected by increased traffic had the M4 East link been approved. Future plans may include instead a continuous traffic-light-free link from the city's Western Distributor to the current end of the M4.
The lack of this link is currently causing major problems for any commercial traffic wishing to travel between Port Botany and the many factories and warehouses in the western suburbs. The
M5 South Western Motorwaydoes connect directly to Port Botany, but it has chronic congestion problems of its own, and doesn't provide easy access to inner western areas of Sydney. There is so much demand for this link, that traffic not only uses the designated Metroad 4(Parramatta Road), but also several back streets to the north and south, most of which are 2 lane residential streets.
Exits and Interchanges
Freeways in Australia
Freeways in Sydney
Road infrastructure in Sydney
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