Clearways decision an 'insult' to Bexley town centre

Kogarah MP Chris Minns has described the clearways decision for Stoney Creek Road, Bexley as a small business killer. Picture: Chris Lane
Kogarah MP Chris Minns has described the clearways decision for Stoney Creek Road, Bexley as a small business killer. Picture: Chris Lane

New clearway conditions to be introduced on Stoney Creek and Forest Roads next month have been described as a "kick in the guts" for local business and "an insult to the Bexley town centre".

Transport for NSW (formerly RMS) said the clearways will go ahead from February 17 but in a reduced form from the original proposal.

The original proposal was for clearways in both directions on Stoney Creek Road and Forest Road between 6am and 7pm on weekdays, and 9am to 6pm on weekends and public holidays between King Georges Road at Beverly Hills and the M5 East Motorway at Arncliffe.

After community consultation the new clearway hours proposal has been divided into two parts.

Stoney Creek Road from Beverly Hills to Kingsgrove will have clearway conditions from 6am to 7pm weekdays, and 9am to 6pm weekends and public holidays.

But the revised proposal means there will no longer be any weekend clearways coming through Forest Road and Stoney Creek Road at Bexley.

Instead new AM and PM peak hour clearways will operate in both directions on Stoney Creek Road and Forest Road from Kingsgrove to Arncliffe from 6am to 10am and then 3pm to 7pm on weekdays.

New timed 'No Stopping' restrictions will also be installed at key intersections on Stoney Creek and Forest Roads at Bexley 10am to 3pm weekdays and 9am to 6pm on weekends and public holidays

A Transport for NSW spokesperson said the NSW Government has listened to the community's desire to reduce local road congestion and balance the need to access the local shops.

But Kogarah MP Chris Minns described theclearways on Stoney Creek Road as a small business killer.

"This decision is a kick in the guts for local shops that rely on customers parking near their businesses," Mr Minns said.

"Many of these local families have spent years building up their customer base. Now a lifetime's work is being threatened to save a few minutes travel time for people passing through the area.

"The Berejiklian Government is pushing ahead with these clearways despite failing to finalise any additional car parking spaces in the area. They are also ignoring the 1600 local residents who signed a petition opposing the clearways."

Rockdale MP Steve Kamper said he was disappointed that despite overwhelming opposition from the local community and business owners, the Government is forcing unwanted clearways onto local roads.

"Nevertheless, I want to congratulate all those who were part of our sustained community campaign, which has forced the Government to back down on their original 24 hour clearway proposal," Mr Kamper said.

"I'm pushing NSW Transport to come back with a scheme that will add protective barriers for pedestrians as they direct more traffic along these local roads and provide additional provision for parking."

Bexley Chamber of Commerce president Jeff Tullock said while there is a five-hour window between the clearway hours, the situation is complicated by 'No Stopping' provisions in three zones between 10am to 3pm.

"Although we get a five-hour concesson in the middle of the day, they are cutting parking by an estimated 10 spaces by introducing No Stopping zones," Mr Tullock said.

"This is bad news for the shopping centre and an insult to the Bexley town centre community.

"For the many businesses this is the straw that breaks the camel's back. Fully five months since community engagement ended on August 12, 2019, a revised proposal effectively introduces new all-day no stopping zones.

"We will lose parking at critical locations for local businesses.

"The question is why release this after sitting on it for five months?"