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 1980s 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.
Early concept reports included an eastern and also a western alignment for the proposed Parkway. Specific constraints affecting these studies included the Canberra International Airport as a major stakeholder in the Majura Valley, reservation of a route for a VHST and the Majura Military Training area. The flood-prone nature of large areas in the valley was also a consideration.
Other issues concerned environmental aspects such as habitat preservation for birds, the Golden Sun Moth and the Legless Lizard. An environmental impact statement also identified measures to be taken to protect an important fossil site at the southern end of the alignment from any construction activity.