Widen and build road shoulders on the Great Western Highway at Faulconbridge

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The problem to be fixed

The Great Western Highway (GWH) between Weemala Avenue and Bellevue Road, Faulconbridge is an 80km zone with only narrow or no shoulders. It is notoriously dangerous. At least eight people (including cyclists) have been seriously injured on this section of the highway. This section of the GWH at Faulconbridge west of Bellevue Street has non-compliant narrow and non-existent road shoulders which do not meet current Austroads standards. 

The Blue Mountains Cycling Safety Forum and the Penrith Cycling Club have been campaigning for emergency breakdown lanes on both sides of the carriageway to make it safer for all road users (including broken down motorists, emergency service workers and pedestrians). After initially refusing to do anything, in July 2018, RMS completed a strategic design of this section of the GWH. The strategic design includes widening and provision of 2.5m road shoulders on both sides of carriageway. The indicative cost is between $14 and $18 million. The strategic design, however, needs funding to get off the ground.

What Can I Do?

Sign the electronic petition. With the State election just around the corner, this is a perfect opportunity for you to tell the political parties that they can support making the GWH at Faulconbridge safer for all road users by committing the funds to make it happen.

Background

  • Senior RMS and TfNSW bureaucrats have acknowledged the section of the GWH does not currently comply with Austroads Standards and is unsafe
  • It provides no protection for cyclists, broken down motorists or emergency service workers.
  • Austroads standards require that high-speed roads (ie > 80km per hour) should have shoulders at least 2 metres wide.
  • Additional width for higher heavy vehicle traffic to safely pull over where the shoulder is next to a safety barrier.
  • There is no alternative route for cyclists between Faulconbridge and Woodford.
  • The west bound lane has a blind corner after Metro Petroleum Service Station and the east bound lane consists of a fast down hill corner which has a 20cm shoulder for the first 200 metres then has no shoulder
  • Cyclists are hemmed in by Armco rails on each side and traffic must merge into the fast lane (at speed) to ensure a safe passing distance. This is not always possible if the fast lane is occupied.
  • Fixing the highway at Faulconbridge will remove a barrier to further participation in cycling in the Blue Mountains and is a foundational step to building an on road cycling tourism industry in the region which incorporates the local road network and scenic driving routes.