Cyclists can see big opportunities to improve cycling infrastructure in the Upper Mountains if a tunnel is eventually built under Blackheath.
The Blue Mountains Cycling Safety Forum would like to see a separate M7 style cycleway built by the highway between Katoomba and Mt York, linking to mountain biking trails off Hat Hill Rd and Hanging Rock in Blackheath, and at Mt York.
With few intersecting streets in the area, a high-speed M7 style cycleway would be ideally suited to the area, said the group's spokesman David Tritton.
"We've had positive discussions with Transport for NSW about this. They are actively considering it as part of the design process," Mr Tritton said.
"This facility, if well-constructed, is also likely to increase participation in cycling for active transport between Katoomba and Blackheath (and the Lower Mountains). Just as importantly, it could also become a destination of itself and encourage locals and visitors to ride to Blackheath for lunch, coffee, a picnic or as a day out, before doubling back to Katoomba or cycling further on".
When the tunnel is built, cyclists would use the existing highway to travel through Blackheath.
"Closer to town an option may be to utilise one of the dual lanes of the repurposed Great Western Highway as a shared cycleway," Mr Tritton said.
"We would like to see the Great Western Highway repurposed into a tree-lined boulevard with a cycle path and pedestrian path all the way into town".
Blue Mountains residents had until November 26 to tell Transport for NSW whether they preferred a long tunnel or a short tunnel option through Blackheath.
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