Trees to go but more to be planted in Blackheath

Hill 33 at Blackheath: The vegetation on the left will be removed to create a slow vehicle lane approaching the town.
Hill 33 at Blackheath: The vegetation on the left will be removed to create a slow vehicle lane approaching the town.

Blackheath Alliance members have reached a compromise with the Roads and Maritime Service over plans to widen the approach into town.

A meeting held last week resulted in some clear wins for the alliance, according to spokesman Michael Paag.

These include additional landscaping and planting outside Blackheath Cemetery and more plants outside Blackheath Gardens, in consultation with the Alliance and council.

Mr Paag said the RMS had agreed to a review of the need for a safety camera at the intersection of the highway and Govetts Leap Road. It also undertook to erect a new Blackheath welcome sign near Evans Lookout Road and to look at a footpath on the other side of Hill 33.

The Alliance lobbied hard to get the RMS to scrap plans to remove vegetation on Hill 33 to accommodate an overtaking lane. They argued the lane only encouraged people to speed as they entered the town.

But the RMS, backed by council, insisted the lane be kept. It will be signposted as a slow vehicle lane for vehicles such as caravans coming out of Sutton Park and heading up hill.

While the bush will be removed, the RMS promised to consult about replacement plantings and look at alternatives to the shotcrete, or mock rock, finish they had planned for the associated retaining wall.

Liberal candidate for Blue Mountains, Owen Laffin, who joined the meeting via telephone, said he also supported an investigation into increasing freight by rail.