Two possible bypasses of Blackheath considered by committee
4 June 2020
Members of the new Blackheath Co-Design Committee were given a first look at early plans for two possible bypasses of the town last night.
The committee meeting considered a western outskirts bypass option and one following the western side of the railway line on Station Street, two of the four options originally presented to the community in November and December last year.
Transport for NSW Director West Alistair Lunn said the committee members had been very positive respectful and collaborative. They assessed how those options impacted upon or improved the environment, the liveability of the town, safety and travel improvements.
“Key to the discussion was the possible impacts on local property-owners and the Vipassana meditation centre, both of which factored heavily in the assessment of the routes,” Mr Lunn said.
“Each of the four possible routes through Blackheath comes with benefits and challenges and we’re grateful to the committee members for helping us get to the crux of these issues and identify what the community values most.
“Their ideas are helping us modify and improve all possible routes. We’re also very eager to see if the committee can use their local knowledge to give us any brand new ideas at the next meeting on 15 June.
“There’s a lot of different views on the Committee, as there should be with a group selected to represent such a wide section of the community. Everyone has been very respectful of those different views and is working together to get the best outcome for Blackheath.”
Input from the community will be crucial in ensuring the best balance of options for the Blackheath section of the highway upgrade. These refined options will be available for further community consultation later this year.
Mr Lunn said the local representatives from emergency services, council, business chamber, community groups and forums were presented with the rationale behind the existing four route options.
“Input from the community will be crucial in ensuring the best balance of options for the sensitive Blackheath section of the highway upgrade,” he said.
“There are constraints, impacts and benefits for all of the highway upgrade options. We want to get this right – with the help of the people who know the area the best.”
The 21 members of the new Blackheath Co-Design Committee joined an independent facilitator and project representatives from Transport for NSW.
For more information on the Great Western Highway upgrade between Katoomba and Lithgow, visit Great Western Highway Upgrade Program.