I am pleased to announce planning approval has been granted for the first stage of the Sutherland to Cronulla Active Transport Link with work to commence early next year.

The first stage of the active transport link will connect key destinations between Sutherland and Kirrawee such as train stations, schools, residential areas and shopping precincts.

This new active transport link will help ease local traffic congestion by providing an alternative transport option that has environmental and health benefits.

Research found that around 50 percent of trips of less than two kilometres in the area are made by car. The path will allow pedestrians and bicycle riders of all ages, capabilities and experience to walk and ride safely to their destination.

Minimising the impact to trees along the active transport link was a key theme during community consultation and during the development of the design the number of trees affected has been reduced by a third. New trees will be planted when the project is completed to replace any trees removed.

Transport for NSW will also continue to work with Sutherland Shire Council to minimise impacts to parking along the route.

Future stages between Kirrawee and Cronulla will make greater use of the rail corridor while still connecting key destinations like transport interchanges, parks, retail and business precincts and Cronulla Beach.

Building infrastructure in and around the rail corridor is quite complex and needs to be planned carefully to ensure this work is completed safely. By approving Stage 1, we can get to work on the project and start to entice people out of the car by providing quality alternative transport infrastructure.

Major work on Stage 1 will get underway in early 2019. Details can be found at www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects.