TRANSPORT for NSW has responded to Singleton mayor Sue Moore's comments that the town's New England Highway bypass will be a "second-rate" upgrade.
Cr Moore told the Newcastle Herald on Saturday that the state's roads agency had failed to adequately address the two key concerns raised in submissions, including calls for a full interchange at Putty Road and for the bypass to be dual carriageway.
Under the agency's current bypass plans, only a southbound exit ramp and a northbound entry ramp will be built at Putty Road.
The council and community had called for a full interchange to allow easier access to and from the town centre.
Transport for NSW cited "insufficient traffic demand" to argue against a full interchange at Putty Road, suggesting traffic volumes would not justify the cost of the infrastructure.
It highlighted in its response to submissions that access to the town centre would be maintained via the existing New England Highway/George Street route.
Its modelling also indicated bypass traffic volumes would not reach levels where dual carriageway would be justified in the medium to long term.
However, the project's land acquisitions will allow for it in the future.
"Transport has made changes to the proposal based on council's valuable local knowledge, including refining the design of Waterworks Lane to incorporate both safety and traffic movement improvements," an agency spokesperson said.
"Consultation will continue with Singleton Council and public utility authorities during the detailed design.
"This consultation will allow the public utility authorities to provide input into the most appropriate relocation options for the services and utilities."
About 26,000 vehicles, including more than 3700 trucks, currently pass through Singleton every day.
The bypass is expected to remove up to 15,000 vehicles from the town centre, which has long been one of the Hunter's worst choke points during peak traffic. The NSW government has allocated $95 million to the project.