“It’s with interest I note that the Station Street petition originally organised by Highlands Matters and later distributed by the Friends of Bowral will not be considered by the NSW State Parliament.
Regardless of the petition’s ineligibility, I thought it opportune to revisit the history of the project and address some of the statements on which the petition was based.
The Station Street Upgrade Project is by no means a new idea.
Upgrading Station Street was considering as far back as 1979. Every Council since then has supported the proposal. I believe this speaks volumes for both the project and Council’s ongoing commitment. In 2012 the need to provide future traffic capacity for Bowral was highlighted as a priority and endorsed by the community in the Bowral Parking, Traffic and Transport Strategy. As recent as May of this year a Deep Dive Review undertaken by the State Government supported the project design and its staged implementation.
The Station Street Upgrade Project proposal as suggested by Council is designed to alleviate growing traffic congestion in and around the centre of Bowral and improve the town centre’s streetscape.
Key elements of the project include:
- Construction of a roundabout linking Bong Bong, Station and Bundaroo Streets to replace the existing traffic lights,
- Upgrade to two lanes in each direction,
- Installation of traffic signals to replace the roundabout at Boolwey Street,
- Construction of new entry and exit to Bowral Railway Station including relocation of existing bus drop-off arrangements,
- Provision of new parking facilities directly adjacent to Bowral Railway Station,
- Construction of a new shared path to link pedestrians with the Wingecarribee Street bridge and Bowral Street signalised railway pedestrian crossing.
The completed projected is estimated to cost $15.075 million.
This revised budget estimate was endorsed by a majority of Councillors in April of this year.
The full breakdown of costs, including the $7.5 million in grant funding Council secured for the project via the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Illawarra Infrastructure Fund, can be viewed online at www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/SSU.
28 car spaces will also remain at the front of the train station with a further 30 spaces to be made available under the Pin Oaks alongside Memorial Park. The existing all-day parking facilities opposite Memorial Park will be relocated from their current position to Kirkham Road. Here new footpath facilities, lighting and access to the northbound platform and town centre will also be provided.
Of the Pin Oaks located in Memorial Park, Council’s pre-construction plan identifies that only two of the 15 specimens at the northern entrance will be removed. Whilst it is regrettable that these trees will be removed, they would lie dangerously close to or within the actual footprint of the new road.
Council’s landscape plan includes the planting of advanced Pin Oaks to offset these losses.
The remaining 13 Pin Oaks and semi-mature trees planted within the Memorial Park precinct will be retained.
The majority of the other trees to be removed lie at the southern end of Station Street within the new road alignment. Many of these have been excessively pruned, are malformed, declining in health or are self-seeded environmental weeds or saplings.
Earlier this month Council awarded a contract for 120 suitable advanced trees to be supplied at the end of construction to offset any removals. New trees to be planted include specimens of Pin Oaks, Tulip Trees, Junipers and Japanese Zelkovas. This contract was awarded to a local company.
All of these details, plus much more, can be viewed online at Council’s dedicated Community Engagement website at www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/SSU.
I encourage anyone with genuine concerns to visit this Community Engagement website and see for themselves Council’s long-term vision for Bowral.
I should stress that early in this term our Council promised to improve essential public services and infrastructure. The vast majority of Councillors consider the Station Street Upgrade Project to be crucial to the long-term viability and prosperity of Bowral and its immediate surrounds.
At the same time we also believe that it’s important to rectify what is becoming a growing issue instead of leaving the problem for our children to solve in years to come.”