TfNSW to explore work around options for Highway shoulders at Faulconbridge
TfNSW officers travelled from Parkes and Orange today to meet the BMCSF to discuss options for a work around solution for the dangerous west bound corner adjacent to the Armco rail on the GWH at Faulconbridge. All parties recognise that, if the permanent shoulder widening and safety upgrade of the GWH between Weemala Ave and Bellevue Road maybe some years away, there is a need for an interim solution which will make it safer for cyclists and other vulnerable road users. During the inspection two key risks were identified including (i) poor line of sight for west bound motorists who presently cannot see vulnerable road users up ahead on the corner and (ii) no safe refuge for vulnerable road users on a dangerous pinch point. The meeting discussed a number of options which aim to address these risks including constructing a pathway behind the Armco rail or moving the Armco rail to create space for a road shoulder. TfNSW have said they are committed to finding a solution which will protect all road users and have agreed to provide more information to the BMCSF in two week’s time on options and timeframes.
TfNSW have, in addition, agreed to consult the BMCSF on its planned forward works program on the GWH. This will provide opportunities for BMCSF and TfNSW to deal with issues which affect cyclists through scheduled maintenance where ever possible.
The BMCSF thanks TfNSW for making the trip from Parkes and Orange today and welcomes the goodwill they are showing in helping the community find solutions to some of the road safety issues at Faulconbridge. The BMCSF will continue to work constructively with the agency to resolve the road safety issues impacting vulnerable road users on the GWH at Faulconbridge.
Transport for NSW recently completed repairs to the road shoulders of the GWH at Faulconbridge following concerns raised by the BMCSF, the Shadow Minister for Active Transport, Jo Haylen and the member for Blue Mountains, Trish Doyle MP and Bicycle NSW in August 2020 about a reseal which created dangerous slip points for cyclists. Whilst the road shoulders have now been sealed to the edge of the formed road, including on the east bound side from the Todarello’s fruit house, the worst of the slip points (i.e. on the west bound corner adjacent to the Armco rail) was not fixed. TFNSW claim that this is because the contractor’s machines cannot get any closer to the Armco rail.
The west bound corner continues to be a major hazard and the gap seal used by the contractors to soften the variation in the road levels (between the original and new bitumen cover) does not restore the original 30cm shoulder width. Cyclists must ride in the traffic lane on the blind corner to navigate the 80 metre section. In August the BMCSF proposed a work around solution that would see cyclists riding behind the Armco rail on newly constructed short sealed path.