Three mayors of southwest Sydney have joined forces to blast the traffic debacle that unfolded on the M8.
Liverpool’s Ned Mannoun, Fairfield’s Frank Carbone and Campbelltown George Greiss have all pleaded for “justice”, and pointed out that the southwest bears the brunt of expensive tolls and inadequate infrastructure.
It comes despite the toll road operator Transurbun issuing an apology, but saying no refund would be given after motorists were caught up in a hellish traffic jam nearly 30-kilometres long.
Dr Greiss said the region was absorbing a significant portion of Sydney’s population growth and called for a toll refund after this disaster during this morning’s commute.
“The toll refund is a step towards acknowledging the strain on our residents and demanding the necessary resources for sustainable growth,” he said.
While Mr Carbone said southwest Sydney residents today paid premium tolls to sit in gridlock which is impacting their residents’ ability to put food on the table for their families.
It comes as the road grief continued for Sydney on Tuesday, with major collision between a truck and a car causing traffic to again come to a halt in Sydney’s west.
About 1.45pm on Tuesday, emergency services were called to the M7 at Cecil Hills, near the Elizabeth Drive exit, following reports of a collision which resulted in the car rolling over.
NSW Ambulance assessed three people at the scene, with a man in his 70s sustaining an injury to his leg. He was later transported to Liverpool Hospital.
Southbound lanes have been closed, in addition to one of two northbound lanes as well.
A Facebook post from Live Traffic NSW said: “Avoid the area. Traffic is heavy”.
“If you’re heading south on the motorway, you’ll be diverted onto The Horsley Drive and you can use Cowpasture Road or Wallgrove Road and Elizabeth Drive to return to the M7,” it said.
“Allow plenty of extra travel time.”
MORE COMMUTER PAIN IN CITY
Frustrated Sydney commuters have been hit by even more traffic nightmares with the cancellation of light rail trams on the L2 Randwick and L3 Kingsford Lines between Central and Circular due to fallen overhead wires on Rawson Place at Haymarket.
Transport authorities are advising passengers to catch a train between Central and Circular Quay instead.
“Services continue to operate between Central, Randwick and Kingsford,” the Transport Management Centre said in a statement.
Route 438X, 440 and 461X buses are also diverting away from Rawson Place via Eddy Avenue, Pitt Street and George Street. One stop is being missed.
Images on social media show trams stranded at the Haymarket stop, with police and NSW Fire in attendance and police tape cordoning off the location.
Drivers cop a sorry but that’s all for 2 hours of 27km road hell
Sydney motorists caught up in a hellish traffic jam nearly 30-kilometres long won’t be compensated for their tolls, operator Transurban has confirmed.
The failure - which occurred during overnight testing - led to the tunnel being closed until 8am on Tuesday, with traffic backing up for 27km.
The company also confirmed that one lane in each direction will remain closed for several hours on the M8 after a sprinkler failure flooded the motorway this morning.
Speeds have been reduced to 40km/hr through a section of the M8 tunnel while water is cleared from the motorway, Transurban confirmed shortly before 11am Monday.
“We apologise to motorists for the delays experienced on the M8 and M5 East this morning and appreciate their patience,” a Transurban spokeswoman said.
“The M8 has now reopened to traffic in both directions, following an isolated incident during planned maintenance work overnight.
“Our priority is the safe operations of Sydney’s motorways. Scheduled maintenance work is carried out during overnight road closures on a regular basis to test a range of systems and processes to ensure the ongoing safe operations of the tunnels.”
The maximum toll a driver of a regular vehicle can incur while using the WestConnex M8 is $7.98, while for heavy vehicles is $23.95.
HOW CHAOS UNFOLDED
The M8 Motorway tunnel was closed in both directions between Euston Road and King Georges Road on Tuesday morning after the sprinkler failed during planned testing.
The tunnel had been scheduled to reopen at 5am but remained fully closed until just before 8am when one lane each way finally opened.
The three-hour delay in opening wreaked havoc on morning commuters using the M5 Motorway.
Traffic is reportedly backed up along the M5 27km to Ingleburn in south-west Sydney and is expected to remain heavy through the morning.
Some motorists reported their standard 50-minute drive into Sydney’s CBD took more than two hours as a result of the chaos.
M8 crews remained on site after 8am and drivers were told to follow directions and allow extra travel time.
A commuter called into 2GB radio station to say he had been forced to slow down to just 15km/h on the 80km/h road.
“There’s gonna be a lot of angry people...it’s bumper to bumper...i’m going 15km/h and about to stop again,” he said.
Motorists are advised to consider using the M5 East Motorway between Beverley Hills & Arncliffe or the M4-M8 Link between Haberfield and St Peters.
Commuters are being urged to allow extra travel time as delays continue.