M4 Western Motorway

The M4 Western Motorway[2][3][4][5] (also known as the M4 Motorway or simply M4) is a 51.5-kilometre-long (32.0 mi)[1] dual carriageway motorway in western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The partially-tolled motorway stretches from Haberfield in the east, to Glenbrook in west, where it continues as the Great Western Highway as the A32.

M4 Western Motorway

Aerial view looking east. The former location of the toll plaza can be seen.
General information
Length51.5 km (32 mi)[1]
Route number(s)
  • M4 (2013–present)
  • Entire route
route number
  • Metroad 4 (1992–2013)
  • F4 (unknown-1992)
Major junctions
East end
West end
Major suburbs / townsPenrith, Blacktown, Parramatta
Highway system

The M4 Western Motorway was formerly known as F4 Western Freeway. It used to be part of the Sydney Metroad 4 until 2013, when the new M4 route designation was proclaimed along the whole motorway.[6]

A toll was reinstated in August 2017, one month after the completion of first stage of the WestConnex (M4 Widening) and charges on a distance-based toll. The toll is in place between Parramatta and Homebush Bay Drive, as well as along the tunnels east of Homebush Bay Drive.[7]

The second stage of WestConnex, an eastern extension of the M4 to Haberfield (known as M4 East), was completed and opened to traffic on 13 July 2019.[8][9]


The M4 Western Motorway was originally constructed in several stages as the F4 Western Freeway between the late 1960s and the mid-1980s, however a lack of funding resulted in the Wran Labor government halting plans to construct the final stage between Mays Hill and Prospect in 1985. In December 1989 work to construct this stage began as a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer project. In return for funding construction StateWide Roads, the consortium awarded the contract to build the stage, was given permission to toll the section between James Ruse Drive and Silverwater Road as traffic volumes on this section were significantly higher than between Mays Hill-Prospect and would allow a shorter toll period with lower tolls. The concession held by StateWide Roads ended on 15 February 2010, with operation of the motorway returned to the Roads and Traffic Authority and the toll removed.

The Motorway is mostly six or eight lanes wide, and carries constant heavy traffic during daylight hours, seven days a week. Built as a four lane motorway, it was widened to six lanes during 1998 to 2000, but this did little to ease the congestion.

Originally planned in the mid-1950s to start in the Sydney central business district,[10] the eastern section was built only as far west as Pyrmont as part of the North West Expressway, or F3, a freeway that would connect the Sydney and Newcastle central business districts. This section is now part of the Western Distributor. From there it was to have joined with the Western Expressway, the F4, and the Southern Expressway, the F6, in Glebe.[11] At the western end of the Western Freeway as it was known in the late 1960s was to be routed through the Mitchell's Pass area through to Blaxland, however due to protests and the fact that the historical Lennox Bridge was very close to the intended pathway, it was decided to terminate the road at Russell Street, Emu Plains until a solution could be later found. This would have bypassed the Lapstone Hill area and avoided the sharp bends as the road enters Glenbrook. In December 1989 the extension of the freeway from Russell Street, west to the Great Western Highway in the vicinity of Governors Drive would bypass the narrow and winding section of the Great Western Highway, including the historic Knapsack Bridge. In June 1993, the new section of freeway between Emu Plains and Lapstone was opened to traffic.

On the basis of a pre-election promise made by Premier Wran in 1976, all land reserved for the expressway between Pyrmont and the current eastern termination point at Strathfield was sold off to property developers or declassified as a freeway corridor in 1977 by the State Government.

In 2013, the state government announced the intention to implement a 'Managed Motorway' scheme on the M4 over the coming years to improve traffic flow. Mechanisms to be used include improved Variable Message Signs, Ramp metering signals, dynamic speed and incident management, and an upgrade of the Emergency Telephone System.[12]

In November 2015, it was announced that toll points would be reinstated on the Motorway from 2017 to cover costs of the upgraded Motorway, the M4 East and WestConnex.

M4 East

Up until 2019, the eastern end of the M4 was at North Strathfield, some 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the Sydney central business district. Over the years a number of proposals have been made to extend the M4 east towards the city. One plan in the 1990s involved extending the M4 eastwards by approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) so that it would subsequently end in Ashfield and be continuous with the City West Link. Further planned upgrades to the City West Link would mean commuters going west out of the city could get to Parramatta without passing through traffic lights. A subsequent plan outlined a $7 billion plan to link the M4, Victoria Road, City West Link and Sydney Airport using a network of tunnels.. Both plans were subsequently shelved, with the NSW state government citing the need for an integrated plan for transport.

In the month prior to the 2011 state election, the NRMA released a report in which it recommended building a tunnel to connect the end of the M4 at Concord and the start of the City West Link, relieving Parramatta Road of enough traffic to convert it into two lanes for slower-moving local traffic, two lanes of light rail and a cycleway.[13] The report argued that this would allow Parramatta Road to be transformed with medium-density housing, shops and cafes and that the $10.04 billion in additional stamp duty and other revenues from this would pay for the $7.38 billion price tag of the project.[14]

In October 2012, the NSW government announced their commitment to deliver the WestConnex project, involving widening the existing M4 motorway as well as extending it east with a tunnel from North Strathfield to Taverners Hill. The project also involves duplicating the M5 East tunnel and building a new tunnel linking the M4 and M5 motorways.[15] During the 2013 federal election campaign, then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott announced that if the Coalition was elected his government would commit $1.5 billion to the project.

The tender to design and build the M4 East was awarded to Leighton Contractors, Samsung and John Holland in June 2015. The M4 East opened to traffic on 13 July 2019.[8][9]


The first main road west from Sydney was the Great Western Highway, shown above in orange. The County of Cumberland planning scheme provided for a modified route west, much of which was later built as the M4 motorway. With the opening of the M4 East tunnel in 2019, the M4 extends as far east as Wattle Street, with provision for a future tunnel extension to the Anzac Bridge at Victoria Road and the 'new M5' at St Peters.

Stage 3 of the WestConnex scheme will see a new motorway connection running from the end of the M4 at Haberfield to connect with the airport and New M5 at St Peters, along with an interchange at Rozelle linking to the Anzac and Iron Cove bridges. This section, currently under construction, aims to reduce travel times between Western Sydney and Port Botany while removing heavy vehicles from surface streets in the Inner West. This section is due to open to traffic in 2023.[16][17]

Exits and interchanges

Blue MountainsGlenbrook00.0 Great Western Highway (A32 west)  Katoomba, Lithgow, Bathurst M4 Western Motorway western terminus;
Road continues as Great Western Highway (A32)
Blue Mountains line0.60.37Railway line runs on an overhead bridge. Bridge name unknown.
PenrithLeonay1.71.1 Great Western Highway (A32 east) / Russell Street  Emu Plains, Penrith, Parramatta, SydneyOffset dumbbell interchange
Nepean River2.61.6Regentville Bridge
PenrithJamisontown4.02.5Mulgoa Road [north]  Penrith, Richmond
Mulgoa Road [south]  Mulgoa, Glenmore Park
Diamond interchange
Glenmore Park7.54.7 The Northern Road (A9) [north]  Kingswood, Windsor, Nepean Hospital
The Northern Road (A9) [south]  Bringelly, Narellan, Campbelltown
Diamond interchange
Claremont Meadows12.77.9Kent RoadHalf-diamond interchange
South Creek13.28.2Bridge over the creek. Bridge name unknown.
PenrithSt Clair13.78.5Mamre Road [north]  St Marys, Marsden Park
Mamre Road [south]  Erskine Park, Badgerys Creek
Partial cloverleaf interchange
Erskine Park17.210.7Roper Road [north]  Mt Druitt, Lethbridge Park
Erskine Park Road [south]  Erskine Park
Eastbound entrance to M4 and westbound exit from M4 only;
Partial cloverleaf interchange
BlacktownEastern Creek21.613.4Wallgrove Road [north]  Rooty Hill, Plumpton
Wallgrove Road [south]  Eastern Creek, Horsley Park
Light Horse Interchange; no toll applicable
Westlink M7 (M7) [north]  Dean Park, Bella Vista, Newcastle
Westlink M7 (M7) [south]  Prestons, Goulburn, Sydney Airport (via M5)
Light Horse Interchange  A modified four-level stack interchange; tolled entrance to and exit from the M7
Blacktown25.515.8Reservoir Road [north]  Blacktown
Reservoir Road [south]  Pemulwuy, Sydney Motorsport Park, Wet'n'Wild, Prospect Reservoir
Partial diamond and partial cloverleaf interchange
Prospect27.417.0Prospect Highway (no shield) [north]  Prospect, Seven Hills, Winston Hills
Prospect Highway (no shield) [south]  Pemulwuy, Wetherill Park, Wet'n'Wild, Prospect Reservoir
Partial offset dumbbell interchange
ParramattaSouth Wentworthville32.019.9 Cumberland Highway (A28) [north]  North Parramatta, Pennant Hills, Wahroonga, Newcastle, Westmead and Children's hospitals
Cumberland Highway (A28) [south]  Smithfield, Liverpool, Goulburn
Diamond interchange
Merrylands33.720.9Entrance ramp [north]  Wentworthville, Westmead, Westmead and Children's hospitals
Coleman Street [north]  Wentworthville, Westmead, Westmead and Children's hospitals
Coleman Street [south]  Merrylands
Eastbound entrance ramp from the north;
Westbound exit via Coleman Street to the north and south
34.621.5Burnett Street [north]  Parramatta
Burnett Street [south]  Merrylands
Eastbound entrance and westbound exit only
Rosehill36.222.5 Great Western Highway / Church Street (A44) [north]  Parramatta
Great Western Highway / Church Street (A44) [south and east]  Granville, Strathfield
Woodville Road [south]  Villawood
Eastbound exit to Great Western Highway / Church Street, north and south; westbound entrance from Woodville Road, south only
Clyde37.723.4James Ruse Drive (no shield) [north]  Rose Hill, North Parramatta, NorthmeadEastbound exit to the north only; westbound entrance from the north only
37.823.5James Ruse Drive (no shield) [north]  Rose Hill, North Parramatta, Northmead
James Ruse Drive (no shield) [south] to the Great Western Highway
Eastbound entrance and westbound exit only
Duck River38.824.1Bridge over the river. Bridge name unknown.
CumberlandLidcombe40.425.1 Silverwater Road (A6) [north]  Silverwater, Carlingford, Newcastle
A6 (A6) [south]  Auburn, Lidcombe, Bankstown, Heathcote, Wollongong
Diamond interchange
Haslams Creek41.225.6Bridge over the creek. Bridge name unknown.
CumberlandLidcombe41.625.8Hill Road [north]  Wentworth Point, Sydney Olympic Park
Hill Road [south]  Lidcombe
Eastbound exit to the north;
Westbound entrance from the north only
Homebush West43.326.9 A3 (A3) [north]  Rhodes, Ryde, Mona Vale, Sydney Olympic Park
A3 (A3) [south]  Homebush West, Beverley Hills, Hurstville, Blakehurst, Sydney Airport
Offset diamond interchange
Powells Creek45.128.0Bridge over the creek. Bridge name unknown.
StrathfieldNorth Strathfield45.528.3Exit via Sydney Street to Concord Road [north]  Concord
Exit via Sydney Street to Concord Road [south]  North Strathfield, Strathfield
Concord Road [south]  North Strathfield, Strathfield
Eastbound exit to the north and south;

Westbound entrance from the south only
45.928.5 Great Western Highway / Parramatta Road (A4) [east]  Burwood, Ashfield, Sydney, Sydney Airport
Great Western Highway / Parramatta Road (A4) [west]  Burwood, Ashfield, Sydney
Road continues as M4 East
Great Western Highway / Parramatta Road (A44) [west]  HomebushWestbound entrance to M4 only;
No access from M4 to A44 westbound
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. 15-17 Great Western Hwy, Glenbrook NSW 2773 to Western Motorway, North Strathfield NSW 2137 (Map). Google Maps. 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  2. Alpha Numeric Implementation Factsheet, Roads and Maritime Services. Retrieved 28 May 2013
  3. Western Motorway (M4) Ozroads: the Australian Roads Website. Retrieved on 29 August 2008.
  4. Historic Photos, Ozroads: the Australian Roads Website. Retrieved on 29 August 2008.
  5. M4 Photos Today, Ozroads: the Australian Roads Website. Retrieved on 29 August 2008.
  6. "M4 Motorway Website". Statewide Roads. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  7. "M4 Widening | WestConnex". www.westconnex.com.au. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  8. "WestConnex". NSW Government. Archived from the original on 10 July 2019. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  9. "New M4 tunnels to open this weekend". WestConnex. 10 July 2019. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  10. Western Motorway (M4) Construction, Ozroads: the Australian Roads Website. Retrieved on 29 August 2008.
  11. Torr, Bradley. "The M4 Motorway – a history and exit guide". Geocities. Archived from the original on 24 October 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2008.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  12. Benefits, Features and Tools of a Managed MotorwayRoads and Traffic Authority. Retrieved on 24 October 2013.
  13. Boulevard of dreams comes with a hidden costSydney Morning Herald. Retrieved on 15 February 2011.
  14. New plan to transform Sydney's WestNRMA. Retrieved on 15 February 2011.
  15. WestConnext Green Light Archived 25 October 2013 at Archive.today NSW Government. Retrieved on 24 October 2013
  16. Infrastructure New South Wales (2012). "First things first: the state infrastructure strategy 2012–2032" (PDF).
  17. https://westconnex.com.au/M4-M5LinkTunnels WestConnect M4-M5 Link Tunnels

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