Renewed calls for a high speed road tunnel through the Blue Mountains are among strong criticisms by Oberon Council of the NSW government's new regional transport plan.
The government was accused of using incorrect population data in the plan, while one councillor called the current Great Western Highway hold-ups "diabolical."
The rebukes came at Council's recent March meeting during discussion of the government's transport plan for the Central West and Orana regions, which had removed all reference to the long-term need for a high-speed transport link to Sydney.
The council responded to a Central NSW Joint Organisation board meeting report on the issue by calling for the plan's population assumptions to mirror the experience of people who lived in the region, and provide for a safe and swift link between Sydney and Central NSW.
The CNSWJO, an alliance of 10 regional councils, noted that the government had removed all references to the long-term need for a high speed link between the region and Sydney.
Oberon Mayor Mark Kellam, who was elected CNSWJO deputy chair at the last meeting, told the council the population assumptions used by the government did not reflect the experience of residents, or the qualified information in the census.
"They assume that most small towns are declining in population and even a lot of regional towns, apart from the headline ones such as Orange," he said.
"These are patently wrong, and Local Government NSW is taking the government to task on this very issue.
"A safe, swift and secure link between the Central West and Sydney is important, but unfortunately the state government has abandoned any strategic planning by disposing of land at Kurrajong."
This had killed of any chance of an improved Bells Line of Road and a link with the M7.
"So what we are left with is a tunnel from somewhere around Medlow Bath to the bottom of Mt Victoria, but it (the plan) does not provide for the rest of the Great Western Highway down to the M4.
Cr Kellam said that on his last trip to Sydney he counted 28 sets of traffic lights, four school zones and numerous changes of speed limits between Katoomba and the M4.
"I suspect that in 20 years' time, this stretch of road will bear a striking resemblance to Parramatta Road, and it is neither, swift, safe or secure," he said.
He said that the options were limited, but agreed with previous comments by Deputy Mayor Andrew McKibbin that a tunnel was one of these.
"But we first have to make sure that the NSW government recognises that it is leaving a legacy of absolutely atrocious traffic links between the Central West and the Far West, and Sydney," he said.
Cr McKibbin said that a safe traffic link seemed to have dropped off the state government's radar, and it seemed to think that the project from Medlow Bath to the base of Mt Victoria would solve the problem.
He said that recent issues with the closure of Bells Line of Road due to flooding, and the landslip at Mt Victoria which had reduced traffic to a single lane, as well as affecting rail traffic, illustrated the need for a tunnel all the way through the mountains providing a safe and reliable link.
"I know of people who have left Oberon at 2pm, and not reached Sydney until 11pm, and I have personally experienced such delays," he said.
"The situation has been diabolical."
He urged to CNSWJO to continue its work for a safe, swift and reliable link, "because that is what is required".
Cr Clive McCarthy doubted if he would see a tunnel in his lifetime, but the CWJO statement should push the case for a better crossing of the Abercrombie.
It will try to meet with both the Federal government and opposition ahead of the election and press priorities, including a mountain journey at 100km/hr.
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