Safety improvements will be carried out over the next two weeks on a section of road that Tarana residents have labelled dangerous and in desperate need of an immediate and full upgrade.
Mutton Falls Road, from the centre of Tarana's township to the border of the Oberon Shire, is not wide enough for two cars to pass without one car having to cross onto the shoulder.
"It's okay to have a shoulder, but the way it drops off, it means there is really no shoulder to go on to," Tarana Valley Community Group's Richard Rollo said.
The potholes off the side of the sealed road have been labelled "tyre killers" and residents said there were major safety concerns as it was not only cars using the road. It was also the route for three school buses and numerous other farm trucks and other vehicles.
The edges of the tar have broken away over the years and the areas underneath have washed away, leaving a sudden, sharp drop off that is a danger to motorists.
Resident Richard Webb said he had ruptured several tyres and bent a wheel rim on the roadside.
"I came across a couple of people from Queensland (six weeks ago) who went off the edge and did a tyre, buggered the wheel as well," he said.
"They told me it was the worst piece of road they'd struck since Queensland."
Fellow Tarana resident Fay Shaw said there were plenty of stories from locals about damage to vehicles and they weren't hearing from the many visitors who were using the road.
Anecdotally residents have been told that a motorbike was damaged after going off an unexpected edge onto the shoulder, while a car driving towards Tarana from the Fish River crossing punctured both of its left hand tyres at once.
Tarana Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade's Graham Fletcher said someone was going to get hurt, particularly in light of the numbers of inexperienced drivers and the general increase in numbers of cars using the road. With the introduction of the Bathurst Bullet stop as of September 16, those numbers would continue to increase, he said.
"As a brigade, we have tried to be proactive. We don't want to have to go to an MVA (motor vehicle accident) that could have been prevented. There's every chance I'm going to know the person."
Resident Annie Cook said Tarana residents felt like the "forgotten corner" of the shire.
Lithgow City Council director of infrastructure services Jonathon Edgecombe said the issue had been brought to council by several residents and the road had been inspected recently.
He acknowledged that, as a 100km/h road, it was very narrow and council would be seeking funds to upgrade it.
"We are in the process of seeking to apply for State or Federal grants to help pay for significant upgrades."
Mr Edgecombe confirmed that weather permitting, maintenance works would occur prior to the end of September.
"Our aim is to commence required safety improvements within the next two weeks," he said.
Several community members met at the Tarana Rural Fire Service shed on Tuesday morning, September 10 to discuss the issue with the Mercury, and said they had been disappointed by a lack of communication from council.
Tarana Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade captain Aidan Keough wrote to council on February 4 this year, following up on concerns which had first been raised by the brigade on July 4, 2012.
"Our Brigade has never had a response from Council at any time to our concerns of the danger to motorists caused by their lack of action to fix the roadsides," the letter stated.
"Every Brigade member would like the potential for a serious accident negated rather than attend a motor vehicle accident that could have been prevented."
A 16-page report prepared by the Tarana Valley Community Group was also submitted to council on February 28, including photographs of particular spots of concern plus measured road widths. After a computer generated reply, Mr Rollo said the group received no response.
"It is in really bad condition. particularly the washouts near the point at which the railway line crosses the road," he said.
Mr Rollo said the average width of road between Tarana and Lithgow was 6.2m-7m. At the bridges near Sodwalls, only one traffic was in place because it was considered to be too narrow to pass another car. However, those bridges were 6m wide, according to his measurements, which was significantly wider than the 4km stretch of Mutton Falls Road controlled by Lithgow City Council, which measured between 4.5m and 5m wide.
Mr Edgecombe said he had been in direct contact with residents who had raised issues about the road and if anyone had not been contacted in regards to a complaint, he urged them to get back in touch with council to discuss the matter.
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