UNSATISFIED with its dealings with Bathurst Regional Council, the Bridle Track Action Group has gone to the top in inviting NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to visit the region.
"We're just not getting anywhere," Steve Alexander from the action group said in explaining why Ms Berejiklian was now in the sights.
"We have been trying for nine years and we're fed up, absolutely fed up."
Council, however, says progress is being made in creating an alternative route for the track: one property acquisition is now progressing by compulsory acquisition.
The Bridle Track, which runs from just outside Eglinton to Hill End, was closed in 2010 after a landslide at Monaghan's Bluff and residents on the route have since kept up the pressure on council and state Member for Bathurst Paul Toole to have it reopened.
Their efforts looked to have been rewarded when council received $2 million from the NSW Government last year to investigate options to get the road reopened, but Mr Alexander remains frustrated by the slow progress.
"There's no design, no tender," he said.
"It will just drag on and, within another year, it will be 10 years [since the track was closed]."
The action group took out an advertisement last week asking Ms Berejiklian to have morning tea on the Bridle Track by the banks of the Macquarie River and "gain a first-hand understanding of the frustration of those of us ... who see the clear commercial tourism benefits that have been lost to Bathurst, Hill End and the wider Central West".
Mr Alexander, who lives on the Bridle Track, said the "maintenance is appalling".
"Council don't spend much time there because there's no traffic and there's no traffic because the road is closed," he said.
He said the $2 million given by the NSW Government to council last year was welcome, but said he understands at least $6 million will be needed for an alternative route.
"Give us a date when it is able to reopen," he said.
Bathurst Regional Council said in June that negotiations with property owners were continuing in regards to an alternative route for the track and council did not have any further budget allocation for the project identified in the 2019/20 budget.
In providing an update last week on the Bridle Track, council said one compulsory acquisition was progressing, "which requires statutory process to be followed".
Council don't spend much time there because there's no traffic and there's no traffic because the road is closed.Steve Alexander
Mr Alexander said he wondered if council was fully aware of what an asset it had with the Bridle Track, which was popular with four-wheel drivers before its closure.
"It's an extraordinary area," he said.
"There are 13 campgrounds where people can come and camp legally and at no charge.
"All that is asked is that they take their rubbish and put their fires out."
Mr Alexander said the action group was not going to give up until the track opened once again.
"We're optimistic we will ultimately succeed," he said. "But we could never believe it would take this long."