City of Newcastle is undertaking civil works on Glebe Road and Court Street, Adamstown in preparation for the installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Glebe Road and Park Avenue.
The upgrades aim to reduce car accidents and improve pedestrian and cyclist safety in the area.
Stage one and two works are now complete, including:
- kerb and footpath upgrades on the southern side of Glebe Road between Park Avenue and Wood Street
- renewed drainage in the area
- new cul-de-sac arrangement in Court Street
- civil works for installation of the traffic lights at the intersection of Glebe Road and Park Avenue
- road resurfacing.
We are working with Sydney Trains to integrate the traffic lights with a proposed signal upgrade at Adamstown railway level crossing.
Before the lights are switched on, we will construct a median on Glebe Road to prevent right hand turns into and out of Wood Street.
We will also build a footpath in Court Street to improve pedestrian access.
Future changes to traffic flow
When the traffic lights are operational, the new cul-de-sac in Court Street will allow eastbound traffic to turn left into Court Street, travel around the cul-de-sac and proceed through the intersection on the next green signal. This will assist eastbound traffic on Glebe Road to access the Adamstown area.
This change to traffic flow will replace the right turn at Wood Street, which will be removed to improve traffic safety.
More information will be provided to the community as planning progresses.
This project is funded under the Australian Government Black Spot Program.
Frequently asked questions
Why is City of Newcastle going to install traffic signals at the intersection of Glebe Road and Park Avenue?
High numbers of accidents have occurred at the intersections of Glebe Road with Park Avenue and Wood Street. There are also numerous near misses at the existing pedestrian crossing on Park Avenue south of Glebe Road.
As it is not compulsory to report non-injury accidents to the NSW Police (as has been the case for several years now), it is expected that the actual number of accidents is significantly higher than documented statistics.
Following extensive consultation with residents and businesses, traffic control signals were approved by Council in 2014.
Currently, cyclists using the R1 regional cycleway are directed to cross Glebe Road at Teralba Road. This is very challenging for inexperienced and/or non-confident riders. Once the signals are operational, the R1 cycleway will be re-routed. The new traffic signals will incorporate cycle lanterns and allow a safer crossing of Glebe Road.
Why has it taken so long for work to start?
This is a complex project with a long lead time. The traffic signals need to be integrated with the adjacent level crossing and the impending upgrade of the signalling system by Sydney Trains. The traffic signal phasing will be coordinated with the operation of the Adamstown level crossing gates.
Who is funding the installation of traffic control signals and related works?
Installation of the traffic signals and work directly associated with the signals is 100% funded by the Australian Government, under the Australian Government Black Spot Program. In NSW, this program is administered by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).
Some works at the Adamstown local centre, involving improvements to footways and drainage, have been undertaken in conjunction with the signals project. These works are funded by the City of Newcastle as part of our Local Centres Public Domain Program
What are the benefits of the project?
Completion of the project will improve safety at the intersections of Glebe Road with Park Avenue and Wood Street for all users. Regional cycleway R1 will be re-routed to the traffic signals to facilitate safer crossing of Glebe Road for cyclists and pedestrians. Interfacing of the traffic signals with operation of the gates will also improve conditions for motorists.
When will the traffic lights be installed?
Sydney Trains are currently completing platform extensions. Upgrading of the existing level crossing signalling system by Sydney Trains is due for completion in 2019/2020.
In conjunction with RMS, City of Newcastle is undertaking all the preparatory works for traffic signal installation. It is expected that traffic signals will be operational in 2020 following completion of the level crossing signalling upgrade.
The majority of preparatory works, including modification of Court Street, have been completed.
Have any other options been considered to address the accident history at the intersections?
The Newcastle City Traffic Committee has considered multiple options and combinations to address the accident history at the intersection of Glebe Road and Park Avenue and impacts on the surrounding streets in the Adamstown area.
Among the options considered in recent years are a roundabout at the intersection with Park Avenue, signals at Wood Street and banning of right turn movements at Teralba, Date and Bourke streets.
Implementation of traffic signals is the preferred option and was strongly supported in the consultation undertaken.
Will vehicles end up queueing on the rail line?
The potential for queuing across the level crossing has been considered and appropriate time has been incorporated in signal phasing and coordination with the level crossing gates to prevent this from happening.
What if drivers miss the Court Street turn?
We intend to install advance directional signage indicating where to turn to if heading to the Adamstown area south of Glebe Road. Right turn movements from Glebe Road are still permitted into various streets.
The preferred movements for eastbound vehicles on St James Road that miss the Court Street turn would be to continue on Glebe Road, cross Brunker Road, turn left into Gosford Road, left into Kyle Road and left onto Brunker Road.
How will the gates and traffic signals operate?
Operation of the traffic signals and the level crossing boom gates will be integrated.
The St James Road level crossing is currently manually operated, and Sydney Trains propose to automate the controls as part of their upgrades planned for 2020. This has the potential to reduce waiting times at the crossing due to improved signalling operations.
The level crossing upgrade will occur in conjunction with the installation of the traffic signals at the adjacent Park Avenue/Glebe Road/Court Street intersection. The level crossing and the traffic lights will be synchronised to manage traffic queuing across the railway.
We’re developing an animation to show indicative traffic movement through the intersection, which will be available on our website once complete.
Will pedestrians be able to walk across the pedestrian path at the level crossing?
The pedestrian gates at the level crossing will operate in accordance with the level crossing controls. If the level crossing boom gates allow traffic movements across the level crossing, pedestrians will be able to move through the pedestrian gates. When the traffic signals are red, but the boom gate is not down, the pedestrian gates will be open.
Why not build a bridge over the rail line?
In the 1990s, there was a proposal for an overpass of the Adamstown level crossing to allow free flow of traffic uninterrupted by rail movements.
The Draft Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2000 did not propose a zone for the area immediately around the Adamstown level crossing due to uncertainty surrounding funding and land area requirements. It was also considered that an overpass would detract from the amenity of the area and detrimentally affect walkability. Current design standards would require an even greater footprint for construction of an overpass. For these reasons, an overpass would not readily be considered as a future option.
Transport for NSW is currently investigating options for the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor, which, when implemented, will enhance amenity and liveability in the area by removing most of the freight trains from the Adamstown level crossing. For more information, visit Transport for NSW's project webpage
What about access for vehicles at the Park Avenue and Bailey Street roundabout?
City of Newcastle has identified this location for future resurfacing works. As part of the investigation for these works, we are considering lowering the height in the centre of the roundabout to facilitate better turning movements for trucks, which are currently mounting the kerb on the roundabout. These existing movements are associated with the light industrial area located in Bailey and Fletcher streets and Garden Grove Parade.
The kerb in the roundabout was identified by local businesses as a current access issue. This proposal will require submission to the Newcastle City Traffic Committee for in-principle support prior to community consultation occurring.