THE iconic tree tunnel on the Vale Road at Perthville may be saved thanks to a redesign of a planned $3 million road upgrade.
The Road and Maritime Services (RMS) announced last month that upcoming roadworks would provide a stronger, longer lasting road that would improve safety and reduce maintenance costs.
A number of the elm trees which form a tunnel effect over the road would be removed, an RMS spokeswoman added at the time.
Since then, the community has rallied to save the trees and feedback from last month’s two RMS-led consultation sessions in Perthville has now resulted in a redesign.
“Roads and Maritime has listened to the community and is redesigning plans for the upgrade of Vale Road at Perthville to avoid significant impacts to the avenue of trees and to parking in Perthville,” an RMS spokeswoman said.
“A total of 86 people have so far attended drop in sessions and provided valuable feedback on the original design regarding tree removal, the condition of the road, impacts to parking in Perthville, road safety and flooding in the area.”
The plans will go on show to the public from Monday, with a further three public consultation sessions planned.
Road safety expert and Perthville resident Matt Irvine has praised the RMS for its rethink on the design.
“I’m encouraged that a large government agency like the RMS can be adaptive and listen to community concerns,” he said.
“The road does need upgrading and I’m really keen to see the plans, I’m wondering if it includes a bypass.”
Perthville Neighbourhood Group president Victoria Tuson said it was “very promising” that the RMS has initiated a redesign.
“It’s really great to know that the RMS is listening to us, but we’ll continue on our pressure to save the tree tunnel,” she said.
“We formed a task force group with the National Trust and Greening Bathurst to survey the site and we’re going to take that to the RMS.”
Group member and Georges Plains resident Amanda Peterson said: “We think it’s fantastic, but we’ll just wait to see what the new plans include”.
View the redesigned plans and speak to the RMS project team at Bathurst Community Club (October 18, 4-7pm) or Perthville Hall (October 19, 4-7pm).
The RMS project team will also be at Perthville Neighbourhood Group’s meeting on October 17 at 7pm in Perthville Hall. The public are invited.
Plans will also be on display at Bathurst Library from October 16 to 30, however no RMS staff will be at this location.
The design will also be made available online for the community’s feedback, along with an online survey.