Nearly 100 transport initiatives in new plan for the Hunter

A hydrogen train trial at Dungog, a connection to Cessnock by rail and upgrades to various pinch points across the Hunter are all part of a plan for transport in the region released today.

The NSW Government has unveiled the Hunter Regional Transport Plan setting out a blueprint for transport in the region over the next 20 years.

Road improvements up for investigation include Tomago Road for the Pacific Highway to Williamtown and Nelson Bay Road from Fern Bay to Williamtown.

The railway connections to be investigated include a feasibility study looking at the opportunities to better align Maitland and Cessnock with a focus on the rail corridor, and a trial of hydrogen trains on the Dungog section of the Hunter Line.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the Draft Hunter Regional Transport Plan is now out for public consultation and outlines the Government’s strategy to bust congestion, improve freight connections and make the M1 a Smart Motorway.

“This draft plan is our vision for what Transport for NSW should look at to secure a brighter future for people living in the Hunter, by providing support for the businesses and industries that are the lifeblood of this booming area.

“Some of these initiatives we’re already delivering – like the transformative New England Highway upgrade between Belford and the Golden Highway – and some are about to get underway, including the Muswellbrook and Singleton bypasses.”

Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said Newcastle is the second largest city in the state and with its population expected to increase 15 per cent by 2041, it’s important that residents and stakeholders contribute to the Draft Hunter Regional Transport Plan.

“We are putting the foundations in place that will make sure the rapidly growing population across the Hunter has a safe, efficient and accessible road network to use,” Natalie Ward said.

“We’ve already set in motion major projects that will deliver great travel time savings for the city and its commuter hubs, like the final piece of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass from Rankin Park to Jesmond and widening the Hexham Straight.”

Member for the Upper Hunter Dave Layzell said planning for the region’s future transport needs was important for the Hunter’s continued economic development by making it easier to get around.

“We want to improve the lives of Hunter residents by emphasising the ‘15-minute neighbourhood’, allowing people to access most of their everyday needs quickly and easily by using public transport, walking or cycling,” Dave Layzell said.

The plan is available to view at and covers 10 local government areas comprising Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Mid Coast, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter.

Transport for NSW is asking residents and stakeholders to contribute to the Hunter Regional Transport Plan by making their submissions by Friday, 11 November 2022 at or via email to:

The feedback will be used to refine and finalise the plan and the timing of initiatives.

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