Perthville tree tunnel is a safety concern: Cyclists

A $3 MILLION upgrade of the Vale Road at Perthville has been welcomed by Bathurst Cycling Club president Mark Simons who says it is the “final piece of the puzzle”.

The extensive works will be conducted along a stretch of road which includes the iconic elm tree tunnel just south of the Uniting Church.

In a statement to the Western Advocate, a Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) spokeswoman said roadworks, which are planned for early next year, will be conducted for a number of reasons.

“The road is rough and narrow with several trees close to the road presenting a hazard to road users, with two crashes reported along the road in the past five years,” she said.

“As part of this project, Roads and Maritime proposes removing a number of trees, including the elm trees which form a tunnel effect on approach to Perthville.

“Options are being investigated to plant a more appropriate species of tree for the area, away from the road.”

Mr Simons said while the tree tunnel was picturesque and it would be “sad to see the trees go”, it does present a safety risk for cyclists and motorists.

He said this area was the most dangerous part of Vale Road due to the rough shoulders and visibility issues, especially when the trees have all their leaves.

For a split second you can’t see ... it’s like driving into a tunnel

Bathurst Cycling Club president Mark Simons

Mr Simons said driving into the tree tunnel makes the road suddenly darker for all road users.

“For a split second you can’t see, just for a couple of seconds. It’s like driving into a tunnel,” he said.

“As a bike rider you’re invisible to cars.”

Mr Simons said having this section of road upgraded was the “final piece of the puzzle for the road between Bathurst and Georges Plains” and it will make it safer for all road users.

The RMS spokeswoman said they were committed to seeking feedback from the community and road users about the project.

“Drop in sessions being held this week will provide an informal opportunity for the community to discuss the project, upcoming work and any queries with Roads and Maritime project representatives ahead of the display of the review of environmental factors and formal submission period,” she said.

Drop in sessions are on at Perthville School of Arts Hall on Rockley Street at Perthville, on Wednesday from 10am to 2pm and Thursday from 4pm to 7pm.

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