The mayors of the Central West are backing a petition calling for a "safe, swift link" through the Blue Mountains allowing motorists to travel at 100km/h the whole way, or from Lithgow to Sydney's western fringes in 45 minutes.
The petition has been organised by The Western Link, an initiative led by a group of small businesses across the Central West that support "a quicker, safer and more reliable route from the Central West to Western Sydney".
Cabonne mayor Kevin Beatty said the Great Western Highway through the mountains, with its multitude of speed zones varying from 40km/h to 80km/h, was causing headaches not only for tourists, but for companies moving freight between the Central West and Sydney, and for residents needing to travel between Molong, Orange and Sydney.
"A vast majority of visitors to the region travel by car and travel home on a Sunday, often after lunch," said Cr Beatty.
"This causes gridlock as they travel between Hartley and Katoomba and often a similar experience on the Bells Line.
"The mayors of the region are concerned for the reputation of the region where our visitors are crawling up the western escarpment of the Blue Mountains through Mount Victoria and Blackheath."
Cr Beatty said that "realistically, you're talking about dual carriageway through the Blue Mountains, or a tunnel".
He acknowledged the huge costs associated with building a dual carriageway over the mountains or a tunnel through them.
Cabonne is a member of the Central NSW Joint Organisation, along with the likes of Orange, Blayney, Forbes, Bathurst and Parkes.
More information at westernlink.org.au
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