MOVEMENTS are afoot on a upgrade for a controversial stretch of highway in South Tamworth.
Goonoo Goonoo Road between Calala Lane and Jack Smyth Drive has been a bugbear for the community and councillors for a number of years.
But relief may be in sight, with survey and design work getting under way in a bid to be “shovel ready” should state or federal funding become available.
Advocates have previously called for both lanes of traffic to be duplicated on the “bottleneck” section of road.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said an upgrade was a priority and has called on roads minister Melinda Pavey to fund it.
“It causes bottlenecks when events are held at our major venues like the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre and Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre where thousands of people make their way home after events with the hazards increasing once it is dark,” he said.
“It’s also unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians who frequently use this section of road.
“Because Tamworth is a growing city with more and more people using this busy road and coupled with the combination of heavy vehicles it becomes a real safety problem.
“We need to fix that, so it makes that section of road safer for everyone to use.”
Over the next couple of months, surveyors will be looking at both Stage 1 of the proposed project (from Calala Lane to Craigends Lane) and Stage 2 (from Craigends Lane to Jack Smyth Drive).
Mr Anderson said the work by Tamworth Regional Council was to ensure the section of road was adequately advanced in the design stage and “shovel ready” to secure funding for construction from the NSW or federal government.
The state member claimed to have road upgrades as a priority and said he had worked towards funding for Rangari Road, Port Stephens Cutting, Grain Valley Road and the duplication of Goonoo Goonoo Road.
One of Mr Anderson’s 2019 NSW election combatants, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Jeff Bacon, has also challenged the Nationals MP to upgrade the Werris Creek Road, south of Tamworth.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.