UNDER a Labor government, the upgrade of Richmond Bridge will be fully funded, with an increase of $10 million — to a total of $28m, the Party’s Macquarie candidate Susan Templeman announced yesterday.
Ms Templeman, who has been fighting for a traffic solution between Richmond and North Richmond since the 2010 election, said this was a significant win for the community.
‘‘This is one of the first issues people in Richmond raise with me and I have been lobbying to make sure we get this bridge fixed,’’ she said. ‘‘Whether you’re a commuter travelling to work, a tradie going about your job, or a mum getting kids to and from sport or to other after school activities, it’s a massive inconvenience to the lives of so many local residents.’’
Ms Templeman said this was an upgrade which would benefit the whole of the Hawkesbury.
"Federal Labor's commitment to this fully funded and budgeted upgrade is a win for our community to the north of the bridge, as well as Richmond and Hobartville."
The short term recommendations listed in the Richmond Bridge and approaches congestion study, released last month, recommended $28m for road and intersection improvements to better traffic flow and safety between Richmond and North Richmond.
Key short-term recommendations of the report focused on improvements to three intersections: Bells Line of Road-Grose Vale Road, Kurrajong Road-Yarramundi Lane-Old Kurrajong Road and Kurrajong Road-Bosworth Street.
“It is really disappointing that State MP for Londonderry Bart Bassett failed to fight for any funding to implement these improvements, in spite of the recommendations of the study,” Ms Templeman said.
Mr Bassett hit back saying he assumed the other $10m is ‘‘typical Labor Party monopoly money’’.
‘‘I read with interest, Sue Templeman’s commitment of now $28m, up from $18m saying that the state government weren’t committing,’’ he said. ‘‘Can I just assure the public that the state government is committed to commencing the intersection works between Richmond and North Richmond next year and will be progressing that over the following couple of years to upgrade the intersections to the level that was in the congestion study.’’
Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, said funding for this project is provided from the Nation Building 2 Program, which is already included in the budget.
Two residents who live on the west of the river and battle the regular grind of hour traffic, Bryan Smith and Margaret Mason, welcomed the announcement.
‘‘The amount promised now is sufficient to pay for all the improvements that were indentified by the RMS, so that means everything planned can now happen,’’ Mr Smith said.
‘‘So many people spend hours going to and from work sitting in the car and this is a great effort to improve things,’’ Ms Mason said.