Hat Hill Road in Blackheath needs a footpath, say locals

Hat Hill Road in Blackheath is one of the town's major streets, providing a route to popular bushwalks, to 45 new homes built in the past few years and to the popular off-leash dog park at the old airstrip.

But the footpath from the highway extends only four blocks from town then abruptly stops, leaving people to negotiate tree roots and shrubs on uneven nature strips or forcing them on to the road.

Three vision-impaired residents who live in the area are hoping council will recognise the need to give them a safe way to go walking around their homes.

Vision-impaired trio Michael Paddon-Row, Henry Lebovic and Christine Boutsikakis (with guide dog Kit) stand at the junction of Hat Hill Road and Clarence Road, Blackheath, where the footpath runs out.

Vision-impaired trio Michael Paddon-Row, Henry Lebovic and Christine Boutsikakis (with guide dog Kit) stand at the junction of Hat Hill Road and Clarence Road, Blackheath, where the footpath runs out.

Henry Lebovic moved to the street just three months ago and has already found walking "very challenging".

"We basically have to talk on the road so I'm very nervous," he said.

His wife, Deb Coogan, said she had to accompany her husband because of the potential danger.

"At the moment there's no way he can walk on his own," she said.

Christine Boutsikakis lives a block back from Hat Hill Road. She said she and guide dog Kit tried once to walk on the stretch without a footpath "and I just couldn't do it".

Michael Paddon-Row was "all for it [extending the footpath]".

"I can't walk on the verge because of all the tree roots," he said.

Blackheathen Gerhard Hassler has raised the idea with all three Ward 1 councillors, who support it idea.

Cr Don McGregor said the unlit section of the road was particularly dangerous for pedestrians and dog walkers.

He also said the work should have been done in 2014-15 when the airstrip subdivision was sold off for new housing.

Cr Kevin Schreiber said he believed the work had been on a maintenance schedule but "we are so far behind on our maintenance of roads and footpaths".

And Cr Kerry Brown said the street "desperately needs a footpath for obvious safety reasons and so do hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometres of Blue Mountains roads".

She said walking was the most popular form of exercise in the Mountains but council seemed to be of the view that "rates are not for new footpaths".

Mr Hassler said Hat Hill Road was well used by both locals and tourists as it led to popular walking tracks such as Pulpit Rock and Perrys Lookdown.

"Every day I see mums with prams, kiddies riding their little bikes, elderly pedestrians, dog walkers and people exercising along this dangerous, long stretch of road, trying to negotiate their way on the narrow road with speeding cars, utes, trucks and buses," he said.

"On several parts there is no option but to walk on the road."

He said that many vehicles ignored the 50km/h speed limit, often roaring through at 80km/h.