Have Your Say on Lower Hunter Freight Corridor

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Community feedback will help shape plans for the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor, a proposed 30-kilometre rail bypass of Newcastle, designed to boost rail efficiency and ease pressure on the main line.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said consultation opening on the proposed route marked the first of many steps towards identifying land for the future freight corridor.

“A future Lower Hunter Freight Corridor will allow for a dedicated freight rail line between Fassifern and Hexham, bypassing Newcastle’s urban areas and will ensure forecast freight needs can be accommodated,” Mr Toole said.

“The plan to separate the majority of freight and passenger rail services between Fassifern and Newcastle will increase the efficiency and reliability of the rail network for both freight and passenger services, and help businesses and industry move freight more efficiently, supporting growth across the Hunter region.

“With the NSW regional freight task expected to increase 12 per cent in the next 15 years, we need to ensure land is available to deliver essential freight rail infrastructure, in the future, and when it is needed.

“We also recognise that if we don’t identify a suitable corridor location now, forecast population and urban growth in the Hunter region will make it difficult to secure a corridor which connects to Hexham.

“There is still a lot of work to be done before a final corridor can be confirmed but we want to provide some certainty to impacted landowners, the surrounding communities and urban planners.

“We want to get this project right, so we’re encouraging locals and freight operators to have their say on the proposed corridor before we can confirm it for future use.”

The majority of land on the proposed route is Government-owned, but Transport for NSW is contacting any landowners who could be potentially impacted. Transport for NSW’s Future Transport 2056 Strategy has identified the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor for potential delivery in the next 10-20 years.

Community consultation runs until 17 August 2021. Maps of the proposed corridor and further information can be viewed at transport.nsw.gov.au/LHFC.