FEW changes to local roads have provoked as much anger as the decision to close off the rear access to the Orange Health Service and Bloomfield golf course from Huntley Road with a line of bright yellow posts.
The announcement yesterday that the road will be reopened as part of a series of works in and around the hospital precinct will be welcomed by drivers, whether they are heading for the Ex-Services Country Club, the Bloomfield site or parking at the rear of the new hospital.
The only people who won’t be cheering this improvement to traffic flow will be the legions of touch football players who used to use that entrance in summer but will be moving to Waratahs this season.
Also announced yesterday, and of far greater importance, was funding for lights at the intersection of Huntley, Forest and Sharp roads and the Southern Feeder Road.
This will bring forward the start of work on a crucial intersection that will regulate a huge volume of traffic in the future.
In addition to the NSW government and Orange City Council, funding from Cadia Valley Operations, Orange Ex-Services’ Club and NSW Health Infrastructure reflects the user groups that will generate a great deal of the traffic along Forest Road.
The construction of Orange hospital adjacent to Bloomfield psychiatric hospital to create the Orange Health Service has been a boon for healthcare in Orange and the region.
On the other side of Forest Road a major nursing home is taking shape, while south of town Cadia Valley Operations will generate hundreds of vehicle movements every day for decades to come.
The road network in the area is crying out for the type of upgrade this funding will kickstart but there remains one historic barrier to traffic flow.
When city planners and the Roads and Maritime Services look at how this area is being developed they must be concerned by the narrow, hairpin Peisley Street route over the rail line at East Fork.
It is a dangerous bottleneck that cannot be ignored forever.