IT’S already among Newcastle’s most congested and frustrating traffic intersections, but a draft report suggests the planned Wickham rail interchange will make Stewart Avenue’s intersection with Hunter Street even more of a nightmare.
Included in the government papers released to the parliamentary inquiry is a ‘‘traffic modelling impact analysis’’ drafted by consultants GHD on October 2 this year.
It shows that three of the four right-hand turn options currently at the intersection could be eliminated when the interchange is opened and when the nearby Railway Street crossing is closed.
Further, the Herald understands that traffic heading into the intersection from the Hannell Street side will not only be restricted from turning right onto Hunter Street but also prevented from turning right onto King Street further south.
It is not known if the government will proceed with the move because it hasn’t yet released its final traffic plan, but the draft has been seized upon by its critics.
Newcastle Greens councillor Therese Doyle said such a move would be seriously flawed. She said the document shows the government has ‘‘no real idea of the traffic implications’’ of the Wickham interchange.
“Along with everything that is coming out of the current parliamentary inquiry, the whole thing has the feel of a headlong and irresponsible rush to push the rail cut through despite any implications for public safety and before the inquiry fully exposes how flawed the decision making process has been,’’ she said.