Introduction

Future Transport 2056 comprises an overarching strategy and a suite of supporting plans. It is an update of NSW’s Long Term Transport Master Plan released in 2012. It has been developed in concert with the Greater Sydney Commission’s A Metropolis of Three Cities, Infrastructure NSW’s State Infrastructure Strategy, and the DPE’s Regional Plans, to provide an integrated vision for the state.

The Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan is a key Supporting Plan in the Future Transport 2056 suite, and is aligned with the Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan and the NSW Freight and Ports Plan due to be released in 2018. In addition, it was developed in collaboration with the Department of Planning and Environment’s Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 and has been informed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s A 20-Year Economic Vision for Regional NSW.

Future Transport Strategy

The Future Transport Strategy is a vision for how transport can support growth and the economy of New South Wales (NSW) over the next 40 years. It has six outcomes to guide investment, policy and reform and service provision. These outcomes provide a framework for network planning and investment aimed at harnessing rapid change and innovation to support a modern, innovative transport system that serves the community and economy well into the 21st century.

The Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan

The Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan is the NSW Government’s blueprint for transport in regional NSW until 2056. It sets out the Government’s thinking on the big trends, issues, services and infrastructure needs which shape transport in regional NSW. The plan covers all regions in NSW outside Greater Sydney.

The Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan is underpinned by ten outcomes customers can expect. These outcomes are designed to respond to what customers have told us is important to them and underpin our plan for policy, service and infrastructure improvements. Chapter 3 of this document outlines what these outcomes will mean for the people, visitors and businesses of Greater Newcastle and how transport supports the emergence of the city as a Global Gateway.

Future Transport Supporting Plans

Supporting Plans are more detailed issues or place based planning documents that will support the implementation of Future Transport 2056. The Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan is a supporting plan that considers the Greater Newcastle area. It provides the overarching strategic transport vision and network that will guide future transport planning for the Greater Newcastle area, underpinned by the ten customer outcomes from the Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan.

Other supporting plans underway include the NSW Freight and Ports Plan and Future Transport Tourism and Transport Plan. These plans are due to be finalised in 2018. The Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan is aligned to these plans and the final versions of each will reflect the feedback received from stakeholders in Greater Newcastle.

Defining Greater Newcastle and its future

Greater Newcastle is one of NSW’s key Global Gateway Cities. Understanding current and future population, employment and other key drivers of travel demand allow us to plan effectively for its future and meet changing needs.

Global Gateway City

Greater Newcastle has a catchment of over 1 million people. It has strong connections within NSW to Sydney, Central Coast, North Coast, New England North West and Central West and Orana regions. Greater Newcastle has growing national and international connections through its airport and port.

Greater Newcastle is transitioning from its heavy industrial past to an urbanised, service, creative and knowledge based city. It benefits from its access to international markets via the port and airport, strong health and education precincts and economic development opportunities through tourism, growth of specialised manufacturing and small-medium enterprises, defence facilities and a growing knowledge industry base.

There are further urban renewal opportunities to be realised. Transformative infrastructure projects including light rail and the introduction of frequent bus and ferry connections as well as opportunities to support and increase liveability through more sustainable travel behaviour will ensure its success into the future.

Five local government areas

The Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan and Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 have been prepared for the five local government areas (LGAs) of Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle and Port Stephens.

The Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 provides targeted strategies and actions for areas within the metro frame and metro core only. The metro frame is an arc of cities and towns from southern Lake Macquarie to Cessnock, Branxton, Maitland and Raymond Terrace. The metro core is the area east of the Pacific Motorway and bounded by the harbour, Pacific Ocean and the northern shores of Lake Macquarie. These areas are shown in Figure 7.

Population growth and change

Home to the Awabakal, Worimi, Wonnarua, Biripi and Geawegal peoples, the Hunter region, including Greater Newcastle, is the most populous in regional NSW. By 2056 it is projected to have almost twice the population of the next largest regions of Illawarra-Shoalhaven and the Central Coast.

Most of the Hunter region’s current population is concentrated in Greater Newcastle. Greater Newcastle is growing rapidly and is projected to grow from around 575,000 people to around 760,000 by 2056, making it home to more people than the state of Tasmania or the Australian Capital Territory. Within Greater Newcastle, most people live within the Lake Macquarie (35%) and Newcastle (29%) LGAs.

As a Global Gateway City, Greater Newcastle serves a much wider catchment area that includes over one million people and has strong connections to Sydney, Central Coast, North Coast, New England North West and Central West and Orana. The future transport system for Greater Newcastle will need to support both its growing and changing population as well as its expanding regional influence.

New growth areas

The distribution of residential population growth across Greater Newcastle has a considerable impact on travel patterns and demand. The Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 identifies a goal of delivering 40% greenfield and 60% infill housing across Greater Newcastle by 2036. Infill housing development typically increases demand on existing services, whereas greenfield development requires planning for delivery of new services and infrastructure.

Population within the metro heart and surrounding metro core is expected to increase over the next forty years. However, there are strong short term growth forecasts for population in greenfield development sites in the metro frame and infill throughout the metro area. Focussing on urban renewal and managing greenfield development will mean transport service planning can be better aligned to respond to population change. DPE will continue to monitor housing and provide up to date forecasts regularly through the Urban Development Program.

Population density

The highest population density in Greater Newcastle is within 5-10km of Newcastle city centre, the metro core, at around 19 people per hectare. This area is expected to continue to grow and densify into the future.

Age distribution

The population of NSW is ageing as a greater proportion of the population move into older age groups (65 years and over) and older people are living longer. The population of Greater Newcastle is no exception. Furthermore, the trend is exacerbated by older people moving into the region from other areas, attracted to the coastal and regional lifestyle in retirement. Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie together have some of the highest number of residents aged 70 years and over in regional NSW.

The distribution of the population by age is important for planning the types of services needed within an area, including transport.

Figure 10 shows the current age distribution across Greater Newcastle, highlighting the age group with the highest number of people in each area. Greater Newcastle has higher proportions of people aged 60 years and over located in the coastal areas around Nelson Bay, Stockton and southern Lake Macquarie.

Higher proportions of working aged people (aged 30-59 years) are located around the metro core, concentrated north of Lake Macquarie, and in the areas north and south of Maitland. The youngest populations are located further west around Cessnock and north to Raymond Terrace. Greater Newcastle’s metro core has a notably higher proportion of people aged between 20-29 years, reflecting the presence of the University of Newcastle.

Between 2016-2056 the older population is expected to increase in areas towards Nelson Bay and west of Lake Macquarie (Figure 10), along with the area between Newcastle airport and Nelson Bay and west of Lake Macquarie. The number of younger people is projected to increase most in the western area of Greater Newcastle as families move into the new growth areas as they are released.

Older people’s access to services

An ageing population holds specific challenges for the provision of transport services and infrastructure. The provision of transport services and infrastructure can impact on how easily older people can get around their local communities, undertake regular physical activity, stay connected to friends and family and get involved in community, civic and cultural recreational activities. This helps older people maintain their health and quality of life as maintaining good physical and mental health in later life supports independence and wellbeing.

With older age comes the increased likelihood of needing access to health services and assistance with day to day tasks, including mobility. Access to health care often requires travel beyond local areas for specialist services or hospital-based care. Driving and using public transport can become more difficult for people beyond the age of 75. Personalised, assisted transport services, such as Community Transport, allow older people to maintain their independence while accessing the services they need. As the number of people in these older age groups is projected to rise across Greater Newcastle over the next two decades, there will be an increased demand for assisted transport service options across the region.

Access to jobs

The residential location of people of working age, between 30 and 59 years, is influenced by the availability and cost of housing and distance to employment. Changes in preferences for housing and household composition also play a part in where people live. In Greater Newcastle people of working age are more highly concentrated in the metro core, close to where most jobs are concentrated. Urban renewal in the metro core will likely attract greater numbers of working-age people and families to live in higher density housing. Highly efficient and reliable transport connections between the region’s dispersed residential areas and Greater Newcastle’s employment areas is a priority for working age people.

Young people’s access to education and training

There is a greater proportion of young people in the centres of Greater Newcastle’s outer frame where families can enjoy being located by the water, bush or both. Access to schools for children in small, more isolated towns can be a challenge, most often being met by local bus services. However, a greater challenge for young people living in these outer areas is accessing out of school hours activities and sports, and as they transition from school, travelling to training opportunities and university campuses located in larger centres particularly if they do not hold a driver’s licence or have access to a vehicle. The introduction of flexible transport options offers the potential to assist this sector of the population.

Employment growth and change

Greater Newcastle currently has around 275,000 jobs. Most jobs are located in Newcastle (43%) and Lake Macquarie (27%) LGAs. There is a corridor of employment along the New England Highway towards Maitland (see Figure 11).

Job density

Newcastle city centre has the greatest employment density at over 57 jobs per hectare, more than double the next highest area of Hamilton/Broadmeadow at 22 jobs per hectare. Large employment precincts are also located at Cardiff-Glendale, Charlestown, Kotara, John Hunter and Callaghan and a corridor of employment that stretches along the New England Highway towards Maitland.

Structural change

A range of industries have a strong presence within Greater Newcastle. Over the next 40 years, the greatest employment growth is expected to come from knowledge intensive industries. These are services and businesses that provide professional knowledge. Examples include engineers and people employed in legal and accountancy services. The location of this type of employment tends to be clustered together in Central Business Districts (CBDS) or in special precincts.

Health and education employment is also expected to increase steadily. It is likely that this employment will be clustered around Greater Newcastle’s hospital and education precincts, including the university and TAFE campuses as well as schools. The population serving industry will also continue to grow. These jobs are generally spread throughout a region and include occupations such as real estate agents, hairdressers and retail and hospitality workers.

Figure 12 shows the changing location of the predominant industry across Greater Newcastle. Growth in knowledge intensive industries is expected in the metro core as well as around Maitland and Newcastle Airport. Population serving employment will replace industrial employment as the largest employment category around the west of Lake Macquarie and Raymond Terrace.

Other major drivers of transport demand

Greater Newcastle has a number of major trip attractors, influencing travel movement.

Health

The John Hunter Hospital is the principal referral hospital for the Hunter and northern NSW. The John Hunter Health Precinct contains a range of medical and allied health services as well as private hospital services and one of two forensic services within NSW. The Precinct provides education, training and medical research facilities through a partnership between the Local Health District, University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).

Other key metropolitan health precincts include East Maitland (planned), Calvary Mater Waratah, Warners Bay, Belmont, Lingard Merewether, Toronto, Gateshead, Cessnock, Kurri Kurri, Raymond Terrace, Charlestown and Morisset.

Education

Schools and tertiary education contributes to a large number of trips each day. The University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus is a significant trip attractor for students and employees across Greater Newcastle and the broader region. NSW TAFE Hunter Institute has nine campuses within Greater Newcastle. The region’s tertiary institutes are expanding and increasing with the NeW Space campus and Japan’s Nihon University choosing Greater Newcastle for its first campus in Australia.

Retail

Throughout Greater Newcastle there are major shopping centres and retail precincts that generate trips by shoppers. Key destinations include Charlestown Square, Westfield Kotara and Homemaker Centre, Stockland Green Hills, Stockland Glendale as well as those within centres such as Newcastle city centre, Maitland, Cardiff, Toronto and Cessnock.

Recreation and tourism

Greater Newcastle benefits from its natural resources and strong heritage. Local residents and visitors are attracted to its coastline and beaches, national parks and open spaces. The world renowned Hunter Valley vineyards and wineries and major sporting venues are also strong trip generators. These tourism movements are supported by Newcastle Airport, the Newcastle Cruise Terminal as well as the region’s road and rail networks.

Integrating land use and transport

The DPE’s Hunter Regional Plan 2036 recognises key employment, educational, health, industrial and recreational hubs such as Newcastle city centre, Central Maitland, Hunter Sports and Entertainment Precinct (emerging), Kotara, Charlestown, Cardiff-Glendale (emerging), Newcastle port, Newcastle Airport, John Hunter Hospital and the University of Newcastle. The Hunter Regional Plan 2036 focuses on connecting these locations through an integrated transport network to further strengthen the economy contained within them and support a growing population.

To do this, the Plan identifies locations where growth is expected to occur across Greater Newcastle. It is expected within its:

  • 14 strategic centres: Broadmeadow (emerging), Central Maitland, Callaghan, Cessnock, Charlestown, East Maitland, Cardiff-Glendale (emerging), John Hunter Hospital, Kotara, Kurri Kurri, Morisset, Newcastle city centre, Nelson Bay, Raymond Terrace, plus global gateway transport hubs of Newcastle Airport and Newcastle port
  • Urban renewal corridors: including Charlestown to Belmont, Glendale to Cardiff, Newcastle City Centre to Broadmeadow, Kotara and Mayfield
  • Growth areas: such as Newcastle–Lake Macquarie Western Corridor and Maitland Corridor.

Strategic centres are centres of activity and employment. They contain clusters of professional, retail, health and education services and are forecast to be major drivers of the economy into the future. Newcastle city centre is the heart of Greater Newcastle, the location of key headquarters, businesses and services.

Urban renewal corridors are precincts identified for a greater intensification of residential and commercial development and are generally along key transport corridors.

Growth areas are large areas that have been identified for new housing developments, supporting an increase in population into the future.

The Hunter Regional Plan 2036‘s vision is for 95 percent of Greater Newcastle’s residents to live within 30 minutes of a strategic centre. To achieve this, the development of catalyst areas has been identified in the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036.

Catalyst areas are strategic centres and major employment precincts that need a collaborative approach to the delivery of new homes and jobs. They include Newcastle city centre, Beresfield/Black Hill, Broadmeadow, Cardiff-Glendale (North West Lake Macquarie), Callaghan, East Maitland, John Hunter Hospital, Kotara, Newcastle port, Tomago and Williamtown.

Figure 15 shows areas where the highest population and employment densities are concentrated within Greater Newcastle. The majority of these are within the metro core. While some strategic centres have concentrations of population and employment, many do not. Therefore, there is a need for travel across Greater Newcastle for work.

Supporting connections to, from and within strategic centres, urban renewal corridors, growth areas and employment areas is important to make it easier for our customers to get to the places they need to travel to. This includes travelling for work and to undertake business or to education sites e.g. schools, TAFE and the University of Newcastle; key retail areas; health facilities; sporting precincts and the airport.

Understanding travel behaviour

To provide appropriate transport services and infrastructure into the future, it is vital to have an understanding of how, where and why people travel to, from and within Greater Newcastle.

Transport network

Figure 16 provides an overview of the key road, rail and cycleway networks in Greater Newcastle.

How and why people in Greater Newcastle travel

Most people travel in Greater Newcastle by private vehicle (over 80 percent of all trips). Public transport use is low. However, there are strong rates of active transport, with more than 13 percent of all trips made by walking or cycling.

Most trips in Greater Newcastle are for discretionary purposes such as shopping, social and recreational trips. These are trips where people can choose the timing and/or destination for their travel. As these trips are generally shorter and within the region, there is an opportunity to support more sustainable travel options for these trips.

Commuting trips occur primarily in the AM and PM peaks. There is an opportunity for these to be provided by public or active transport, rather than private vehicle.

Over half of the trips made by Greater Newcastle’s residents are short journeys under 5km. There is an opportunity for these shorter journeys to be undertaken by walking or cycling.

Road

Key road corridors in Greater Newcastle include the M1 Pacific Motorway, Hunter Expressway, New England Highway, Newcastle Link Road/ Newcastle Road, City Road (Pacific Highway), Charlestown Road /Lookout Road, Lake Road, Main Road, Maitland Road and Industrial Drive. These roads carry the largest volumes of traffic and are important in providing through movements as well as, north-south and east-west connections within Greater Newcastle.

Figure 20 and Figure 21 show road capacity across Greater Newcastle in the AM peaks in 2016 and 2056. Examples of roads currently approaching capacity in the AM peak include Maitland Road (heading towards Newcastle city centre), Cormorant Road (both directions), Newcastle Road (heading east), Toronto Road (heading north) and Lookout Road (heading north).

It is projected that traffic volumes will significantly increase in the next 40 years. Figure 21 shows road capacity in 2056 without any transport improvements, but with increased travel demand. This figure illustrates that without investment and changes to travel behaviour, a significant number of key corridors in the metro core will be approaching capacity. Roads surrounding the strategic centres of Maitland, East Maitland, Metford, Raymond Terrace, Morisset and Cessnock will also be approaching capacity.

Train

Greater Newcastle is serviced by Intercity and NSW TrainLink regional rail services. The two Intercity lines are the Central Coast and Newcastle line (Figure 22), providing connections to the Central Coast and Greater Sydney and the Hunter line (Figure 23), providing connections between Newcastle, Dungog and Scone. Service frequencies range during the day.

Within the Intercity network, Opal data represented in Figure 24 shows that the stations generating the most use are Hamilton (former temporary access point into Newcastle city centre), Morisset, Broadmeadow, Warabrook (University of Newcastle) and Cardiff.

Figure 25 shows travel volumes on the Intercity network in 2016 and 2056. Increased passengers are expected to travel north from Wyee, south from Cardiff and east from Metford in the AM peak.

NSW TrainLink regional services provide connections north to Brisbane via the east coast (Figure 26) and to Armidale and Moree via the Hunter and New England North West regions. There are three services a day travelling north and one a day to Armidale/Moree. These services also provide connections to Greater Sydney.

Patronage data (2014) for NSW TrainLink regional rail services shows that people travelling to Greater Newcastle stations (Fassifern, Broadmeadow and Maitland) on the northern corridor (services between Sydney and Brisbane), are primarily travelling from Sydney (Sydney Central, Strathfield and Hornsby), Casino (connecting point for coach services on North Coast), Coffs Harbour, Wauchope (connection to Port Macquarie) and Taree. People travelling from Greater Newcastle stations on this corridor primarily travel to Sydney (Sydney Central, Strathfield and Hornsby), Casino, Taree, Coffs Harbour and Brisbane.

For the north west corridor (services between Sydney and Armidale/Moree), patronage data (2014) for NSW TrainLink regional rail services shows people travelling to Greater Newcastle stations (Fassifern, Broadmeadow and Maitland) primarily from Sydney (Sydney Central, Strathfield and Hornsby), Tamworth, Armidale, Moree and Gunnedah. People travelling from Greater Newcastle stations on this corridor are also primarily travelling to these stations.

Coach

Three coach operators currently provide scheduled, public transport connections between Greater Newcastle and regional and capital city destinations:

  • NSW TrainLink
    • Newcastle – Taree
    • Trialling services between Newcastle – Tamworth
  • Sid Foggs
    • Newcastle – Dubbo
  • Greyhound
    • Sydney – Brisbane, via Newcastle

Bus
Within Greater Newcastle, there are five contract areas in which bus services are provided:

  • Contract area 1: Rover Coaches
  • Contract area 2: Hunter Valley Buses
  • Contract area 3: Port Stephens Coaches
  • Contract area 4: Hunter Valley Buses
  • Contract area 5: Newcastle Transport

Opal fares are available on services operated by the bus companies listed above. Current travel opportunities across contract areas are limited or infrequent in some cases, and travel between major destinations across the region can often require interchange between two or more buses.

In January 2018 Newcastle Transport introduced a new timetable and revised bus routes to reflect passenger travel demand. This has seen an increase in patronage since the beginning of the year.

Public transport data shows key places people travel to and from in Greater Newcastle using the public transport network. However, it only reflects the existing network. Despite this limitation, bus patronage data shows strong demand for travel to and from key destinations such as Charlestown Square shopping centre, University of Newcastle, Stockland Jesmond shopping centre, Stockland Glendale shopping centre as well as schools across the region. This is represented in Figure 28.

Ferry

A ferry service operates between Stockton and Queens Wharf in the Newcastle city centre. In 2017, an average of 1,300 trips were made each day on the service. Newcastle ferry patronage has grown over the past year with January 2018 seeing a record 48,000 trips; an increase of 9,000 trips compared to the number taken in January 2017.

Point-to-point

Point-to-point services include on demand services, taxis, rideshare and Community Transport.

A Newcastle Transport On Demand bus trial currently operates in addition to existing scheduled bus routes in Dudley, Whitebridge, Mount Hutton, Windale, Tingira Heights, Eleebana, Warners Bay, Gateshead and Charlestown areas (see Figure 30). Transport is available from 9am to 4pm on weekdays, 7am to 6pm on Saturday and 9am to 6pm on Sunday.

Services can be booked using a Smartphone app or by a regular phone call. Since its commencement, patronage has grown from 232 rides in January 2018 to 1,318 rides in April 2018.

A number of taxi operators service Greater Newcastle, with many offering services across the day with a range of vehicle types and configurations available to cater for a diverse passenger population.

Uber and other on demand operators also provide ridesharing services in Greater Newcastle. They offer a range of vehicle types and services, including drivers who assist passengers into vehicles and can accommodate folding wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters, as well as fully wheelchair accessible vehicles.

The University of Newcastle has implemented a carpooling app to match riders with drivers. Drivers get access to exclusive carpooling parking spaces to promote less single occupancy vehicle trips.

Community Transport services provided under contract to Transport for NSW are available for eligible clients (primarily frail aged people) living in their own homes in the five local government areas of Greater Newcastle. Transport is provided by bus or car, depending on the type of transport suitable for the journey, and some vehicles are wheelchair accessible. Typically clients receive transport to medical appointments, shopping and social outings.

Access to public transport

The Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) is a measure of accessibility from a point of interest on the public transport network. It defines accessibility in terms of the time taken to walk to a public transport access point (such as a bus stop or railway station), the average waiting time for a public transport service at that access point and the frequency of service.

For example, a location within 400 metres of a public transport stop where services operate every 15 minutes is ranked as excellent, while another location at a distance greater 400 metres to a stop or where a stop has less frequent services is ranked less than excellent. Areas that are located far from a stop are not ranked at all.

As shown in Figure 33, data for 2015 shows that most strategic centres within Greater Newcastle have excellent PTAL ratings in the AM peak. These are concentrated in Newcastle city centre. Areas outside the metro heart generally have less than excellent ratings throughout the day.
The PTAL suggests that new service options could be investigated to cater for people living outside the metro heart who need to travel to their local centres, such as for shopping and services, between the weekday peak hours and on weekends.

Active transport

Greater Newcastle has some world class cycleway infrastructure, but the network is not connected. There is more than 900 kilometres of existing cycleways within the Greater Newcastle area (Figure 34), including 296 kilometres of off road paths. Examples include the popular Fernleigh Cycleway, Warners Bay Foreshore and the Lake Trail at Walka Water Works in Oakhampton.

Newcastle City Council, Lake Macquarie City Council, Maitland City Council and Cessnock City Council each have comprehensive Bike Plans that identify a network of local cycleways that would complete the network to schools, shops, sports fields and other local centres. More than 287 kilometres of planned off road paths are identified in local government bike plans – doubling the existing network.

Aviation

Greater Newcastle has airports at Williamtown (Newcastle Airport), Cessnock and Belmont. Newcastle Airport at Williamtown is one of the largest combined defence and civilian aerodromes in Australia. In 2017, 1.27 million passengers passed through Newcastle Airport. Flight destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Canberra, Dubbo, Taree, Ballina and Adelaide. Figure 35 shows Newcastle Airport’s connections to destinations outside NSW as in February 2018.

Cessnock and Belmont Airports offer private flights and training opportunities. By 2036, Newcastle Airport’s projections show a minimum of 2.6 million passengers using Newcastle Airport each year. However, there are aspirations to fly as many as 5 million passengers a year by 2036. There are further opportunities for freight and international flights, connecting people and goods to the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

Where people in Greater Newcastle travel

Based on data from the Household Travel Survey (5 year pooled data – 2011/12-2015/16), the majority of trips by Greater Newcastle residents occur within the five local government areas. Only five percent of all trips by residents on a daily basis are to/from destinations outside Greater Newcastle. Of these trips, there is a strong pull to the south, towards the Central Coast (73 percent of trips made outside Greater Newcastle).

This reflects Greater Newcastle’s strong self-containment and strength as a Global Gateway City. This is especially clear when compared with the Central Coast where 15 percent of all trips by residents are to/from outside the region and nearly a third of Central Coast workers leave the area for work.

However, Greater Newcastle’s dispersed population and large numbers of people living in peninsulas presents a challenge in providing transport services and infrastructure between the various destinations and centres.
Currently, strong travel demand (over 1,000 trips a day) exists between:

Maitland and Metford, via East Maitland
Broadmeadow and Newcastle city centre
Charlestown and Newcastle city centre
Kotara and Charlestown/Broadmeadow
Newcastle port and Newcastle city centre.

To a lesser extent, demand to/from these centres also extends to other locations such as Raymond Terrace, Cessnock, Nelson Bay and Morisset.

At a LGA level, large volumes of people travel between Lake Macquarie and Newcastle LGAs each day and to a lesser extent between Maitland and Newcastle LGAs as well as Port Stephens and Newcastle LGAs. Most growth is expected to occur between Newcastle and Lake Macquarie LGAs.

We need to match transport services and infrastructure with the level of demand generated. Clear, strong transport corridors should be provided between centres of high demand. There should be opportunities to connect to these corridors in areas where there is a lower level of demand.

These strong transport corridors will experience increased pressure into the future, especially as the majority of new housing and population growth will be located along the different development fronts in the metro frame and throughout the metro core as infill. Planning for travel options, such as effective public and active transport, is necessary to ensure efficient access for our customers.

Where people travel to/from Greater Newcastle

Journey to Work data from the 2011 Census provides an understanding of the travel between Greater Newcastle and other regions. Close to 14,000 people travel into Greater Newcastle for work. Most travel from the Central Coast (47%), Greater Sydney (11%) and Dungog LGA (10%).

A larger number travel outside the Greater Newcastle area for work (22,444 people). They primarily travel to the Singleton LGA (27%), Central Coast (21%) and Greater Sydney (19%).

Travel demand forecasts for travel to/from the Greater Newcastle area are limited due to the study area of the Strategic Travel Model. However, forecasts show continued increased demand for travel west into the broader Hunter region as well as south towards the Central Coast and Greater Sydney regions.