SOME time in the next few years – we hope – we will finally see some action at the ridiculous Mitre, Lambert and Suttor street intersection at West Bathurst.
Some time in the next few years – we hope – we will finally see traffic flowing freely in that part of town, linking the central business district with the growing areas around Eglinton, Windradyne and Llanarth.
Some time in the next few years – we hope – we will no longer be worried about the safety of the hundreds of students at the Assumption School who cross those roads in the dangerous morning and afternoon peaks.
And then we will all sit back, shake our heads and wonder how it could have ever taken so long to get to this point.
Bathurst Regional Council will finally consider setting aside funding to upgrade the city’s worst intersection as it continues its planning for the 2017-18 budget.
Senior staff have also advised that a change in Roads and Maritime Services rules means it is now likely that the intersection will be eligible for state blackspot funding, adding to the momentum for change. Only trouble is, this is all happening almost two decades after the former Bathurst City Council identified the need to upgrade the intersection.
In that time, thousands of new homes have been built to the west of the city, adding even more pressure at what has always been a crazy crossing.
The need for an upgrade has been obvious to most for many years but, as is too often the case, nothing was done until the clamour for action became too loud to ignore.
In this case it has been the relentless lobbying of West Bathurst residents Kent and Dianne McNab that has finally had an impact.
The pair live close to the intersection and got sick of seeing crashes and countless near-misses. They took the streets to garner support for their campaign and have collected more than 3000 signatures demanding a roundabout be installed.
They have researched the history of the intersection and become the public faces and voices of the campaign for change.
They have injected themselves into public life and all for the safety of others.
Now a solution to the city’s worst intersection is closer than ever and two committed community members can take much of the credit for that.
Take a bow, Mr and Mrs McNab