Shellharbour MP Anna Watson has launched a petition for on and off ramps in Dapto but residents say they're expecting another disappointment after 40 years of broken promises.
The need for improved road connections in and out of Dapto was highlighted again this week as key routes in and out of West Dapto were cut off during heavy rains.
Darkes Road remains closed at Mullet Creek due to flooding earlier in the year and with Bong Bong Road, West Dapto Road and Cleveland Road susceptible to flooding, the only road connecting Horsley and Dapto was Fowlers Road.
With tens of thousands of people projected to move into future West Dapto suburbs over the next decades, local residents are calling out for more reliable road connections.
Horsley resident Romeo Cecchele said he has seen the situation coming after 40 years of campaigning.
"The people of West Dapto are tired of waiting for infrastructure to happen," he said.
The first improved connection was promised in the 1980s when the extension of the M1 freeway was built from Berkeley to Kanahooka Road.
"We were supposed to have south-facing ramps as well as north-facing ramps," Mr Cecchele said. "The north-facing ramps got built but the south-facing ramps got cut back due to cost cutting."
In the 1990s, when the M1 was extended from Kanahooka Road to Yallah, south-facing ramps were once again promised, this time at Fowlers Road. However, yet again, the south-facing ramps were cut from the final design.
In the 2010s, Dapto residents were once again disappointed when a southbound connection was left off the design for the Albion Park Rail bypass, forcing residents to join the M1 at Northcliffe Drive or travel south through Albion Park Rail.
Ms Watson said the congestion currently experienced is only going to get worse.
"A huge amount of traffic passes through and leaves Dapto each day, with significant delays experienced throughout the entirety of the area," she said.
"With a projected 50,000 further residents expected to settle in the West Dapto area, residents must be given direct access to and from the M1 motorway as a matter of priority."
Ms Watson said she is hoping to reach 10,000 signatures so that the petition is debated in NSW Parliament.
"Residents have gone too long without direct access to the M1, it's time that the Government recognises how much congestion and delay is caused by their refusal to improve road access in this area."
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said that modelling was undertaken for an interchange at Yallah as part of planning for the Albion Park Rail bypass.
"The traffic modelling, which includes growth around planned residential developments at Yallah and West Dapto, indicates the northern interchange is not required until there is a substantial increase in traffic," the spokesperson said.
Transport for NSW said that Dapto residents travelling south could use the old Princes Highway through Albion Park Rail with 65 per cent of traffic previously using that road now diverted onto the bypass.
Mr Cecchele said while he welcomed the petition from his local member and would be signing it, he questioned the timing of the renewed push.
"I'm a little bit cynical, because it's only eight months to the next state election."
With housing development continuing apace and hundreds of new residents moving into West Dapto each year, Mr Cecchele said that local infrastructure designed for a few farms will need to be upgraded.
"For 42 years and six months since the first sod got turned in West Dapto for the first subdivision in January 1980, all those roads that are in such bad condition that it will need all three governments to fund to get those roads all upgraded."
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