Condition of Narrow Neck road

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Condition of Narrow Neck road

Postby jrg » Sun 24 Mar, 2019 11:22 am

Hello,

Just wondering who has responsibility for maintaining the road along Narrow Neck (Glenraphael Drive) - is it the Council up to the National Park sign and NPWS after that?

I drove up there the other weekend for the first time in a year or so to walk out to Solitary and the road condition had deteriorated considerably from the last time I was there - the road seems to be in worse condition every time I drive it and is getting to the point that some 2WDs would have trouble - in fact quite a few cars had parked close to the entrance road on Cliff Drive and people had walked the rest of the way.

I assume with funding cuts to NPWS we are not going to see any change any time soon - is it worth raising with them?
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Re: Condition of Narrow Neck road

Postby michael_p » Sun 24 Mar, 2019 2:19 pm

Pretty sure it is Blue Mountains Council all the way to the gate. Wouldn't hurt to complain.

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Re: Condition of Narrow Neck road

Postby ribuck » Sun 24 Mar, 2019 5:02 pm

NPWS maintains their part annually. I came past while they were doing it and asked them about it. The workers said they have a legal obligation to keep it open for firefighting purposes. They seemed more concerned about width than smoothness.
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Re: Condition of Narrow Neck road

Postby mandragara » Mon 01 Apr, 2019 5:19 pm

It's exceptionally bad isn't it. It's downright dangerous in a 2WD in the rain
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Re: Condition of Narrow Neck road

Postby skibug » Tue 02 Apr, 2019 11:59 am

I've been told that the land between the turn off and Golden Stairs is owned by Scenic World - it's actually a historic mining lease. Whether that makes them responsible for the road I'm not sure, but would explain the inadequate maintenance.

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Re: Condition of Narrow Neck road

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 02 Apr, 2019 6:06 pm

skibug wrote:I've been told that the land between the turn off and Golden Stairs is owned by Scenic World - it's actually a historic mining lease. Whether that makes them responsible for the road I'm not sure, but would explain the inadequate maintenance.


A century ago this would be true, but definitely not the case now. Scenic World own a small area of the escarpment and small section down in the valley. Their property is the area where the Scenic Railway and Cableway land in the valley, and the boardwalk sections. Outside of that is National Park, including the surrounding areas that were once part of the old mine. It doesn't come anywhere near Narrowneck.

There is a road reserve which runs to just past the Golden Stairs. This is crown land managed by council. It is a formed road (as opposed to an something that is zones as an unformed road) which means it is managed and maintained. From that point on, the road runs through National Park. The road actually doesn't adhere very closely to the road reserve. Technically the first 500m of the road runs through council community land, which is the zoning of parks / council owned bushland.

So in answer to the original question, Blue Mountains City Council is almost certainly responsible for maintaining the road as far as the Golden Stairway. After that it's definitely NPWS. I imagine they have some sort of shared maintenance arrangement to avoid having two crews repair two halves of the road.
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Re: Condition of Narrow Neck road

Postby Grabeach » Thu 04 Apr, 2019 8:33 pm

I imagine they have some sort of shared maintenance arrangement to avoid having two crews repair two halves of the road.

You reckon? Check out this from 2017.
https://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au ... omba-road/
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Re: Condition of Narrow Neck road

Postby ribuck » Fri 05 Apr, 2019 8:36 am

On 8 December 2014 I saw National Parks workers maintaining the road (beyond the locked gate). I only took this one photo, but around the corner were lots of vehicles and men. They said that National Parks is required to keep the road up to a certain specification for fire-fighting access, and that they did this every spring, but they were running later than usual in 2014.

Over the next few km were huge amounts of chainsawed trees and brush - more, I would think, than is burned in a year by all the bushwalkers' campfires in the Blue Mountains National Park.

In addition to cutting down trees, they were also doing some gravelling and grading.
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Re: Condition of Narrow Neck road

Postby rcaffin » Fri 05 Apr, 2019 7:48 pm

re Blue Mts Gazette article:
Ah - the usual Lands Dept vs NPWS squabble.

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Re: Condition of Narrow Neck road

Postby FatCanyoner » Sat 06 Apr, 2019 8:16 pm

I'm not sure about the Blue Mountains Gazette story, but I can say that the road is definitely not the responsibility of NPWS until after the Golden Stairs.

There is no question that the first 500 metres or so is on Council land. It then cuts briefly across National Park before joining the gazetted road reserve. It then loosely follows this for more than a kilometre. The exact land ownership can be seen on the council's own mapping: http://emapping.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/connect ... g=Locality .

My understanding is that maintenance of gazetted roads is the responsibility of council, unless the road is a major artery / highway / other significant state road. I can't see the dirt track out Narrowneck falling into that category. I'd be very interested to hear what argument council had for claiming that they were not responsible for this section of the road that follows the gazetted road reserve.

Of course, if the road reserve and neighbouring council land that covers the escarpment were handed over to become part of Blue Mountains National Park, all the confusion would be solved and it would all be owned and managed by one organisation. There's quite a few spots in the Blue Mountains where this approach would make things simpler, and -- assuming NPWS received the funding needed to carry out the increased maintenance -- would likely lead to better outcomes for the park users and the environment.
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