This report has been commissioned by the Bells Line Expressway Group to provide an assessment of the economic impact of upgrading the Bells Line of Road to a high standard expressway. In particular, the aim of the report is to analyse the economic impact of the proposed Bells Line Expressway on the Central NSW Regional Organisation of Councils (CENTROC) region.
The current routes to Central and Western NSW from Sydney (the Great Western Highway and the Bells Line of Road) are characterised by very steep grades, tight curves and limited overtaking opportunities. The nature of the roads over the mountains limits growth of both passenger and freight transport to the west. There is a distinct need for an upgrade to the Bells Line of Road as the Central West is the only region adjacent to Sydney without road access of an appropriate standard. An adequate route between the Sydney Basin and the Central West region could facilitate growth and relieve the safety and congestion issues on the Great Western Highway.
In the five years from completion of the Expressway, total economic growth induced by the expressway in the region is expected to be $268 million (4.5%) in GRP, $122 million (3.7%) in household income and 3,062 (3.9%) full time equivalent jobs. Furthermore, accident cost savings have been estimated in this report to be around $2.7 million per annum, with the average annual savings on vehicle operating costs and travel time determined by Sinclair Knight Merz (2004) to be $9.9 million per annum.
For a comprehensive list of the major benefits the Bells Line Expressway would deliver see the Benefits page.
The proposed Bells Line Expressway will provide the Central and Western NSW region with substantial benefits in terms of economic growth and road safety. The noteworthy economic and community benefits that would arise as a result of the construction of the Bells Line Expressway provide support to the argument for the upgrade.