Motorists heading north west on the Bells Line of Road will soon be driving along the B59 under a new project to standardise and rename major driving routes across New South Wales using numbers and letters.
Roads Minister Duncan Gay this afternoon announced a $20 million project to change road signs across the state in an attempt to make navigating long distances simpler, particularly for tourists.
Roads such as the Princes Highway or Bells Line of Road will keep their current names but will also receive a second alpha-numeric title, such as the A1 or B56, from March 2013.
The new names can apply to either a single road, or a series of roads that form a corridor.
Mr Gay said the changes would make driving simpler, particularly for those travelling routes that covered a range of different road names.
"If you were travel across Sydney from the Sydney Airport to the north, you would travel down General Homes Drive, Southern Cross Drive, Dowling Street, Eastern Distributor Motorway, Cahill Expressway, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Bradfield Highway, Warringah Expressway, and on and on," he said.
"From now on, you'll just travel on the M1."
Motorways will retain the first letter M, while A will be used to designate routes of national significance and B will be used routes of state significance. Both the old name, and the new route names, will be displayed on signage.
The move brings NSW into line with other state such as Victoria, which already use the alpha-numeric system, and other countries.
The opposition has labelled the $20 million project confusing and a "waste of money".
"The people of NSW want their roads fixed and they want them built, they don't simply want them renamed," opposition transport spokeswoman, Penny Sharpe, said.
"Every school, every hospital is feeling cuts across this state. If money is tight the Premier should call his minister in to line and redirect the money from this program in to something more worthwhile."
Trent Zimmerman, from the Tourism and Transport Forum, praised the move and said it was especially important for tourists.
"We think it's particularly important for those international visitors who don't have English as their first language, because we know that English road names are more confusing than a simple lettering and numbering system, one which they're familiar with," he said
The roads around Mt Druitt affected are:
- M4 Motorway now named the M4 Western Motorway
- Great Western Highway now named the A44
- The Northern Road now named the A9