Renewed push for highway improvements at Faulconbridge

The Blue Mountains Cycling Safety Forum has upped the call for RMS to finalise improvements along a dangerous stretch of the highway at Faulconbridge in the wake of another accident.

Blue Mountains Police are investigating an accident involving a motorcyclist 350m west of Bellevue Road at Faulconbridge on May 26, following reports the rider had veered off the road into a guard rail. The woman was airlifted to Westmead Hospital in a serious condition.

The cycling group has been campaigning since 2017 for Roads and Maritime Services to improve the safety of the Great Western Highway west of Bellevue Road at Faulconbridge.

Forum spokesman David Tritton said, “This is a terrible crash but it does once again highlight the urgent need for RMS to finalise its planning for road treatments to improve safety for vulnerable road users on the GWH west of Bellevue Road.”

The road treatment options must include breakdown lanes and address the issue of vehicles turning right from the eastbound fast lane into the Metro Petroleum, he said. 

“On this section of the highway at Faulconbridge the Armco barriers are located on the edge of the traffic lane and there are minimal or no road shoulders. It is well understood by RMS that the benefit of an Austroads compliant breakdown lane is that it provides a buffer for driver error and opportunity for corrective action and is also a refuge for cyclists, emergency service workers, and other vulnerable road users”. 

On Monday, Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle raised the safety problems on the highway in Parliament.

She described the road as “treacherous” and driving behaviour “illegal and risky where motorists perform illegal U-turns and right-hand turns across the dual carriageway” at the Metro Servo. 

“Since 2015 the Blue Mountains community has been calling for a road divider and adequate shoulders along both sides of the road to protect cyclists, pedestrians, motorists and emergency services personnel and call on the government to immediately invest in infrastructure upgrades between Martin Place in Linden and Bellevue Road at Faulconbridge to fix this treacherous stretch of road,” she said.

Mr Tritton called on the government to “prioritise funding and implement the road treatments as quickly as possible”.

In May, after lobbying by Penrith MP Stuart Ayres, the RMS said they would “investigate options” to improve safety on the Great Western Highway between Todarellos Fruit House and the Metro Petroleum.

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