Peninsula roads summit needed, says Chamber
A Peninsula Roads Summit is needed to address the future of the Peninsula's road system, according to the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.
It has called on the NSW Government to convene the summit to address residents' concerns.
Chamber president Mr Matthew Wales said: "It's time that community leaders on the Peninsula were able to meet face-to-face with decision makers over road issues specifically for the Peninsula area," Mr Wales said.
"We are calling on the NSW Government to convene a special Roads Summit so that community leaders can discuss road infrastructure issues with the RMS, the Central Coast Council and local politicians," he said.
"Clearly, leading up to the Gosford by-election, no one appears to be listening to the business community and local residents especially when we are drowning in flood water, getting lost in pot holes and dodging broken pavements across the Peninsula.
"If we had everyone in the same room, we could all lay our issues on the table and come up with a priority list and infrastructure program that everyone has had a chance to contribute to.
"The biggest part of the problem with roads funding is that all levels of government fail to explain how they arrive at their list of priorities and how funding is accessed and apportioned.
"It is a constant source of amazement to many of us that our road priorities never seem to match the Government's or the Council's.
"We're all sick of traffic congestion and of being told that there is not enough money to fix the problem.
"All the community really wants is action.
"A Roads Summit will at least get the issues firmly on the table", Mr Wales said.
The Chamber of Commerce has criticised the inadequacy of the NSW Government's road package announced in the lead-up to the Gosford by-election.
"The Government has clearly abandoned the Woy Woy Underpass project with absolutely no commitment to finishing off the project they promised five years ago," said Mr Wales.
"Out of the $23 million announced by NSW Premier, Mr Gladys Berejiklian and Liberal Party candidate, Ms Jilly Pilon, there are no capital works commitments to the Peninsula whatsoever," Mr Wales said.
"All we get is an obscure commitment to continue planning to improve Blackwall Rd with a $13 million planning budget with no time frame," he said.
"That's $13 million to plan, not build.
"It appears that the $35 million left over from the Woy Woy Underpass debacle won't be coming back to the Peninsula any time soon.
"I'm bitterly disappointed that once again the Peninsula has missed out on roads funding at a time when recent bad weather has shown how desperate we are for kerb and gutter and decent drainage.
"We have made our roads and intersection priority list available to the NSW Government on numerous occasions yet they still do not understand that intersections like Rawson Rd and Ocean Beach Rd are a major choke point.
"It's time that the NSW Government, the RMS and the Council sat down to a Roads Summit with local community leaders," Mr Wales said.
SOURCES: Media releases, 22 and 23 Mar 2017
Matthew Wales, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce