HIGHWAY to the future or a road to ruin? An 11th hour debate has again erupted over well advanced plans for a highway duplication through Hartley Valley in a controversy familiar to past road projects where pragmatism collides with heritage, self interest and the natural environment.
It's part of a project with a hefty price tag but opponents say their losses can not be defined in monetary terms.
Once again the opponents want a Plan B, a route taking in Darling Causeway and Newnes Plateau, a previously rejected option..
But the sting in the tail is that this would totally bypass Lithgow by all three Main Roads that converge on the city with devastating impact not only for highway frontage businesses but the city in general - a dismal prospect already being felt by the fallout from the Greater Sydney lockdown and its deserted highways that has local operations reducing hours or, like the Visitor Centre, closing for the duration.
It's a vexed situation with few alternatives but with so many livelihoods - and votes - at stake it would be a brave government that changed course now.
Inch Street's dilemma
IT was a case of deja vu for residents of Inch Street last week when a truck carrying a scrap metal bin overturned, spilling its load across the footpath and through the fences of the scrap yard and adjoining concrete plant and closing Inch Street to traffic.
It was a disturbing repeat of an identical incident only last year, a fact not lost on the social media crowd. The accident has further inflamed tensions in Inch Street where residents have been trying unsuccessfully for months to have Council enforce removal of several very large and very unsightly scrap bins 'parked ' on their street.
Perhaps this time.
Bring back Brown Bombers
WITH Lithgow CBD businesses already suffering Covid fatigue there's a call for Council to maintain more regular parking patrols to help ease the pain.
Several sources have told the column that parking problems due to little enforcement is costing them business every day, particularly in the mornings when the city is at its busiest.
"They can't find a spot in Main Street they go elsewhere," was the message.
And, we're told, it's getting worse at a rapid rate.
SO here we are just a couple of days out from what, at least the calendar says so, is Mid Winters Day. So far it's been a particularly severe Winter and optimists among us are hoping this is the turning point.
It's more wishful thinking that optimism so don't put the thermals away just yet. Which brings us to another Winter problem, the number of people riding bicycles or walking on roadways with dark clothing and no lights, seriously tempting fate when daylight hours are at their shortest.
Happens every year.
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