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Do not head into the Blue Mountains this weekend unless necessary


Heavy traffic. Stock image.

By David Fitzsimons


Going to Sydney this weekend? Here’s the reality of how long it’s going to take you.


PUBLIC TRANSPORT


It took me two hours longer than normal to travel from Orange to Sydney on Friday and involved a number of buses and trains.


I started with the 6.30am bus from Orange to Bathurst to connect with the Bathurst Bullet train.


But due to landslides and other dramas trains cannot go further than Lithgow right now.


So we all detrained at Lithgow to wait for the 9am coach for Penrith.

Katoomba landslip near the railway line. Photo: Sydney Trains.

By now, onboard my third people mover for the day, I was slowly accepting reality.


Until we reached Mount Victoria, that is.



That’s where we sat idle for about 15 minutes, as a landslip had reduced traffic on the highway to one lane on the town’s eastern edge.





After stopping all stations to Katoomba, then Springwood, I arrived at Penrith at 11.15am.


Another wait as trains, even on the busiest line in the city, were only running about every 30 minutes due to all the water damage.



When I got to my destination station my overlong trip was compounded as I just missed a connecting bus.


At least some city buses seemed to be running close to normal times.


I finally arrived after five buses and trains, on a trip lasting more than six hours.

DRIVING


If you’re driving be aware there will be serious delays.


Last Saturday, when I drove to Sydney I lost about 45 minutes standing still from near the burnt-out Lolly Bug shop site to Mount Victoria.


A red-light system is in place for Sydney-bound traffic to limit the number of vehicles going bumper to bumper up Victoria Pass before they get to the landslip at Mount Victoria.

On Friday morning at Mount Victoria the queue for vehicles waiting to go west stretched back several kilometres.


Expect delays of at least 10-15 minutes - and up to several hours - there.


Government ministers Sam Farraway and Paul Toole are warning people not to travel to Sydney this weekend unless necessary.



An update on Friday on traffic conditions.

Farraway, the minister for regional transport and roads, said the pressure on the roads was compounded by the closure of the Blue Mountains rail line, due to landslips and flooding, which was impacting both passenger and freight services.


So, it was great to see the big wet had stopped in Sydney, but if you need to get there this weekend be prepared for long delays.


Oh, and watch out for plenty of potholes.

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