Fix for road is stuck in the slow lane

Not happy: Rooty Hill resident Kim Brazell is one of many motorists frustrated with the congestion on Francis Road: ‘‘We pay our taxes but we’re not seeing the results on our roads.’’ Picture: Natalie RobertsCALLS to widen a two-lane bridge across the railway line at Rooty Hill are getting louder but continue to fall on deaf years.

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has reiterated it has no plans to widen the Francis Road bridge, despite being a peak hour traffic nightmare.

It was built with bridge supports to expand it to four lanes.

When the Star first reported on the congestion in March, the RMS said it had not received any complaints in the past 12 months, despite Blacktown Council claiming otherwise.

Roads minister Duncan Gay has received at least two letters in the past month: one from state Mount Druitt MP Richard Amery on behalf of resident Kim Brazell and one from another resident, Bob Irwin.

In his reply to Mr Amery, Mr Gay said the RMS had no plans to widen the bridge but would investigate Francis Road and Railway and Duke streets as part of the government’s $125 million Pinch Point program, which targets peak hour hot spots to relieve congestion through measures such as replacing roundabouts with traffic lights.

Mr Irwin was sent a similar response.

It can take Mrs Brazell up to 10 minutes to get from one side of the railway line to the other in peak afternoon traffic.

‘‘It’s getting worse and worse because more people are moving out here,’’ she said.

‘‘I understand widening the bridge will cost a lot of money and put people out for 12 months but everyone will be happier in the long run.’’

In response in recent questions raised in parliament, Mr Amery was told there was a 3.7 per cent increase in traffic volumes near the Francis Road bridge between 2010 and 2013.

Travel times from the intersection of Rooty Hill Road South and Francis Street to Duke Street increased by two seconds to three minutes and 53 seconds in the morning peak and by 21 seconds to just over five minutes in the afternoon peak.

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