Residents along Fifeshire Road in Good Hope are urging Yass Valley Council to make some much-needed repairs along a road that has recently degraded into a safety risk. The damage to the road, including deep, wide potholes, roughs travelling throughout, lack of traction and its narrow build positioned next to a lake has caused recent incidents that have greatly concerned residents, who have reached out to Council for assistance. Resident Helen Cattell spoke to the Yass Valley Times about recent incidents, the effect the road has on residents and local businesses, and what residents want to see done.

Fifeshire Rd- bogged truck

A major incident occurred last week where a young child had an 8-minute seizure and an ambulance was called. The child’s parents had to drive their car through Good Hope via Fifeshire Rd, the only road in and out of this area, to meet an ambulance, knowing that the ambulance would not be able to get through Fifeshire Road to their home, due to the degraded state it is in.

 

“It should be noted that driving to the conditions of the road in its current state takes double the time to travel which is unacceptable in any urgent or emergency situation. During this same period of time, my husband and I were in a vehicle towing a fully loaded trailer, up the worst part of Fifeshire Road with deep ruts and steep inclines on either side. The child and his family in their emergency were travelling down this hill at the same time. We had nowhere to go and were unable to stop as the road had no traction. It was an extremely dangerous situation”

NSW Ambulances has been contacted for a comment to confirm this. The child’s father confirmed that this measure was taken by the parents as a precautionary measure, rather than the ambulance not wishing to drive up the road.

Fifeshire Road residetns concerned about current conditions and emergency service access

Another incident that heightened the importance and severity of the road includes a risk to local industry, as allegedly trucks used for cattle are also unable to use Fifeshire Road.

 

“It just keeps getting worse and worse, and now the farmers can’t run their businesses, because they can’t get trucks in and out, and we’re all concerned about our own safety, because we all live on farms – last couple of weeks two drivers of cattle trucks who have been coming here for years advised that they would not be coming out here on this road until it is repaired. The gas truck driver has also stated the same, no gas deliveries until the road is repaired”, said Helen.

 

The issue has been presented to Council, and allegedly has been presented previously throughout the last 12 months. Twenty-two documents, including emails, letters, emails, photos and messages have been presented, as well as a petition currently standing at 335 signatures.

 

“This is a state of crisis for us. Our well-being and our livelihoods are being affected. Our intention has never been to blindside anyone, but rather to engage in a constructive conversation with Council regarding repairs to the road. The residents are requesting confirmation of the timing of the repairs, the prioritisation of the repairs, as well as the sections of the road that Council intends to repair”, said Helen.

Residents have identified 10 segments damaged by last year’s rainfall, with propositions on 7 identified damages including drainage work to ameliorate heavy rainfall.

 

“Council has completed some work in Segment 1”, confirmed Helen. Included in the documents and messages between Council and Fifeshire Road residents, Council stated in a letter on the 29th of March that there are four segments of the road to be worked on, with one completed. State member of parliament Wendy Tuckerman, on the 28th of April, also identified 1 section that has been addressed.

 

“We’ve had this property for 25 years, and this is the worst condition we’ve ever seen on the road”, said Helen, commenting further

 

“For two-wheel drive cars it’s just impossible to get the cars through — It’s not just a matter of ‘okay, we’re dealing with some potholes’, it’s extremely dangerous, and we’re on the banks of a lake, if you go off the road you’re in a lake.”

 

Helen emphasises that residents need to continue speaking up, and that discussions between Council and residents of Fireshire Road are still in progress.

 

Griffin Palen