The Blues Mountains

Blues Mountains traffic
Recently, I took the family on a trip from Sydney to Dubbo. Even more than usual I found the trip across the Blue Mountains, long, slow, arduous, frustrating and difficult.  As we drove, I tasked my 9 year old daughter with counting the the speed changes indicated by the signs. She counted 46 different speed zones (from Emu Plains to Lithgow) 50km/h, 70km/h, 40km/h, it changes constantly and it’s almost impossible to know if you’re in a 50 or a 60 zone.  On top of the 46 speed changes there are 7 school zones which also add to the start-stop nightmare.  Then there are the roadworks which seem to have been going on, piece-meal for the last decade.Put simply, the main [highway] across the blue mountains, the “Gateway to Western NSW”, is a nightmare!  It may not be as hard to traverse as when Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson first made the journey but it’s not far from it.  Speed cameras are everywhere and it is stop start, speed up, slow down the entire way.

Rural people deserve a better route to their capital city.  Sydney-siders demand a better route out out-to the country.  This billy-goat track is not just slowing traffic, it’s crueling our economy.

Yes, I’m reticent to suggest digging a tunnel through the entire thing but realistically, I believe it is the best long-term solution. nsw- tunnel It would open up so much more of NSW that over time the benefits would be remarkable (and profitable).Obvously, it wouldn’t be cheap. How would we pay for it?  One way would be to invite an off-shore partner, say from Shanghai,

to finance a portion of the construction and then to collect the tolls for the period of time it took to pay off – say 30 years – where-upon the ownership of the tunnel would revert back the NSW Government.If we decide to do it, which prima facie, I think we should, we shouldn’t skimp.  It should be 4 lanes wide for cars plus space for an east/west rail link.  It may seem extreme now, but in 50 years it will simply, be.