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  • Writer's pictureDavid Tritton

TfNSW Upper Mountains Cycleway design is on track to be a great boost for active transport & tourism

TfNSW Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for the Katoomba to Blackheath Great Western Highway Duplication includes significant upgrades to the Great Blue Mountains Trail. The BMCSF has worked closely with TfNSW on the early concept design for the cycleway and we are very pleased that many of our recommendations have been adopted in the REF including new sections which remove some steep gradients and a proposal for a more direct connection with gradual gradients rom Old Bathurst Road to Foy Road. This new section avoids the current steep detour around the back of Pulpit Hill following Nellies Glen Road/ Explorers Road back to the trail which runs adjacent to the GWH. There are a number of improvements which we seeking TfNSW to lock into the design including ensuring both new and old sections are integrated with a new concrete or asphalt surface which is smooth and gravel free, a more seamless connection to the new service road/ cycle path off Coachhouse lane at Medlow Bath and a safe crossing for Road cyclists across the rail bridge at Medlow Bath. The Forum's submission to TfNSW covered the following issues:

  1. Support for access from old Bathurst Road to Explorers Road on railway side of existing Great Western Highway including safer crossings

  2. Recommended locations for lighting, the need for a consistent non-slip surfaces which integrates both the new sections and old / retained sections of the GBMT and elimination or control of steep hills and pinch points and hazards in the legacy sections of the GBMT

  3. Foy Ave - Safety upgrades and treatments

  4. Delmonte Ave and Bellevue Crescent - Eliminating motor vehicle access to residential backyards from the cycleway and safe crossing treatments at intersection with Bellevue Crescent

  5. Medlow Bath Bridge safety for on-road cycling

  6. Coachhouse Lane Medlow Bath, issues include:

  • Support for its use and newly constructed route to Blackheath

  • Access to / from the Station Street Signals Crossing (a more seamless and direct route to Coachhouse Lane to complement the lifts at the railway station)

  • Connecting the service road to Blackheath from the location of the eastern tunnel portal

Maps of the cycleway from the REF are reproduced below.

Support for a policy Framework

We have used this submission to once again highlight the need for a policy framework which takes a holistic or integrated approach to transport networks in the Blue Mountains LGA. We argue the Great Western Highway must not be seen simply as a thoroughfare or traffic corridor. Its impact on liveability as well as the local economy are relevant factors to be considered in its future planning. A regional integrated transport policy which included the Blue Mountains LGA would ensure a multi-dimensional view is locked in. Such a policy would also inform the planning for the remediation or upgrading of the legacy sections of the Great Western Highway, particularly at Faulconbridge and elsewhere in the lower mountains. This approach would accommodate an active transport plan for the Blue Mountains which could be supported by integrated transport planning across the three tiers of government. Current broad based policies applicable to the greater Sydney area or regional NSW are, by themselves, not enough to support a wholistic approach to transport for the Blue Mountains and adjoining areas.

For more information on the operational issues and proposed policy framework, please read our submission.

BMCSF Submission to TfNSW - Katoomba to Blackheath (East) Upgrade REF v3
Download PDF • 1.02MB

Click here for link to REF and visitor information portal

Maps from REF - Figures 3-1(a) to 3-2(d)

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