Shipley Road to Hargraves Lookout in bad condition

Road narrows: Locals Suzanne Pelley and Barb Wall show the condition of Shipley Road, the only access to Hargraves Lookout in Blackheath.

Road narrows: Locals Suzanne Pelley and Barb Wall show the condition of Shipley Road, the only access to Hargraves Lookout in Blackheath.

Hargraves Lookout is one of Blackheath’s best but the road out to it is possibly one of the Mountains’ worst.

Potholes have proliferated and the edges are crumbling away in many parts of Shipley Road. Motorists regularly have to take their lives in their hands and travel on the wrong side of the road to avoid the holes.

Suzanne Pelley and Barb Wall, who both live on Shipley Road near the lookout, are concerned.

“The road is in such a poor state it is only a matter of time until we have a head-on collision,’’ Ms Pelley said. “Tourists in particular are driving on the wrong side of the road to avoid very deep potholes.

The road is in such a poor state it is only a matter of time until we have a head-on collision

“There are many places on this section of the road where you cannot avoid them, and after all this lovely heavy rain they will be even worse.

In a puddle: Many drivers have to veer on the other side of the road to avoid the potholes.

In a puddle: Many drivers have to veer on the other side of the road to avoid the potholes.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Ms Pelley said she sent a letter to council about six months ago and was told they would “look into it”.

When nothing happened she again contacted council last week but “I didn’t even get an acknowledgement”.

She also wrote to the Roads Minister, who did acknowledge receipt but otherwise has not replied.

Ms Wall said some of her friends are reluctant to come and visit because of the state of the road.

“They just can’t bring their car out here,” she said.

“It’s such a popular lookout now. I have been here 19 years and the amount of traffic has increased so much. When it’s such a heavily used tourist track you would think council would look after it.”

Ms Wall said council had laid roadbase on the road “more than two years ago” and it worked well for a short time.

“But it started eroding very quickly and they’ve done nothing, not one iota, since.”

While there is a sign warning that the road is not suitable for coaches, many of the smaller tourist buses make the trip. Both women had seen them taking up most of the road.

“It’s the danger factor more than anything,” Ms Wall said. “What it does to our cars is a concern but it’s the danger thing that really scares the hell out of me.”

After raising the issue with council, a spokeswoman said that patching repairs and grading on the road were scheduled to commence on Monday, March 20, weather permitting.

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