The Majura Parkway was first identified in Tomorrow’s Canberra (1970) as a component of Canberra’s peripheral road system. This system is designed to provide efficient traffic movement between towns without impacting unduly on residential areas.
Subsequent planning studies, including the Metropolitan Canberra 1984 and the Canberra Spatial Plan 2004 have identified and retained the Majura Parkway as a key component of the primary road network.
Initial planning for the Majura Parkway was undertaken in the 1970s and 80s by the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC).
The need for an arterial road to provide access for Gungahlin residents to the City and other southern destinations was reinforced through the Gungahlin External Travel Study. This study addressed several major road options for providing efficient road access from Gungahlin to the City and the other town centres of Canberra. The options included the Majura Parkway, the John Dedman Parkway (now known as the Gungahlin Drive Extension or the GDE), Monash Drive and a major upgrade to Northbourne Avenue.
Both the Territory Plan and the General Policy Plan of the National Capital Plan make provision for the future construction of the Majura Parkway, although in neither plan was the location of the road firmly established.
In 1999 the ACT Government commissioned a feasibility study which examined the transport constraints in the Majura Valley and identified a common corridor for a very high speed train (VHST) and Majura Parkway.
Subsequent work on the Canberra Spatial Plan identified a possible future town in the Kowen area with a conceptual road connection north of the airport to the Majura Parkway, described as the Kowen link. The connection was not considered in the earlier studies and led to the need to review some details of previous alignments. The findings were outlined in SMEC Concept Evaluation Report (2006).
Specific constraints affecting these studies included the Canberra International Airport as a major long term user in the Majura Valley, reservation of a route for a VHST, the Majura Military Training Area and flood prone areas.
From the alignments detailed in the SMEC Concept Evaluation Report, Roads ACT selected two alignments namely the western and the eastern alignments.
Roads ACT has decided to exclude the eastern alignment from further consideration (including the Kowen and Northern Links) due to the environmental, social and heritage complexities this alignment included. The western alignment is considered as the preferred alignment for the Majura Parkway.
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