Council Mayors across the region have expressed their disappointment on hearing reports that visitors’ journeys over the Easter long weekend took an extra 3-5 hours travel time.
“It’s been frustrating to hear these reports and the effects on our reputation. We don’t want to deter visitors from coming back. We need to fast track a safe, swift link from Sydney to Central NSW” said Cr John Medcalf OAM, Chair of Central NSW Joint Organisation, Mayor of Lachlan Shire Council.
“Currently the Bells Line of Road is either closed or open to one lane, and while we welcome the $2.5 billion spend on the Great Western Highway improvements, the community along the GWH can’t be happy with the gridlock situation either” said Cr Medcalf.
The Central NSW JO Councils are seeking to work with the Western Sydney Councils and key stakeholders for solutions before the next Federal election. “The many existing State and Federal transport plans acknowledge the need for a safe swift link in the longer term – whenever that is. For over a decade NSW Regional Transport Plans have talked about a long term solution – but we are no closer” said Cr Medcalf.
While the immediate issue is to enable tourism, a safe swift link is required for freight and the economic development of this region. “Looking at the recent flooding events in Western Sydney we know they need better evacuation routes. At the moment we have a corridor for a future upgrade ending in the Nepean. That is hardly a flood evacuation route.”
“We need a time-frame and action now so that we can support in achieving that timeframe.”
“In the meantime we need to work with our friends and relatives in Sydney to encourage them to stay an extra night or two to avoid the traffic jam in both directions.”