Funding for important link

Improvements works on a 2.7km section of the road between Cowra and Canowindra will start this year.

Jodie McIntyre, Acting Network and Safety manager with the RMS, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke and Cowra mayor Bill West inspect the site of the roadworks on Monday.

Jodie McIntyre, Acting Network and Safety manager with the RMS, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke and Cowra mayor Bill West inspect the site of the roadworks on Monday.

“We want to make sure that should someone make a mistake on the road that it doesn’t turn in to a fatality,” RMS Acting Network and Safety manager Jodie McIntyre said at the announcement of the roadworks on Monday morning.

Along with Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke and Cowra mayor Bill West, Ms McIntyre was at the site of the proposed roadworks on a 2.7km section of the road north of Mount York Road.

“We’re making safety improvements and that includes installing safety barriers along the side of the road and making sure the roadside environment is clear of any hazards,” Ms McIntyre said.

“We want to make sure that if someone should run off the road they have ample time and the environment to allow them to get back on the road safely and not crash into any roadside hazards.

“We install barriers when we know there is a hazard behind that barrier to keep people on the road.

“Trees will be removed as will any other hazards, including culverts.

“We’ve hard works happening at either end of this road so completing this stretch of road is improving the whole road, all the way to Canowindra,” Ms McIntyre said.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the road has been allowed $630,000 for the work under the Saving Lives on Country Roads Program.

“Country people make up a third of the NSW population, but last year fatalities on country roads made up nearly 70 per cent of the road toll,” Ms Cooke said.

“The shocking truth is that you are four times more likely to be killed on roads in the country compared to people who live in the city.

“The project starts at Mount York Road and includes the installation of safety barrier in targeted locations where crashes have occurred in the past.

“Between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2016 there were two fatal crashes, two serious injury and two moderate injury crashes on this stretch of road.

“The Lachlan Valley Way has also been allocated $600,000 in Round One for development works, with the total improvements across the Cootamundra electorate totalling almost $2 million as a whole.

Welcoming the announcement of the funding, Cowra mayor Bill West said “it is important we have roads that are safe to drive on”.

“This work demonstrates the importance of this road,” cr West said.

Both Cr West and Ms Cooke noted the importance of the road with many residents of Canowindra working in Cowra and many from Cowra also working in Canowindra.