Taking the hard road for our region’s future

Credit where it is due.

It was famous country singer Roger Miller who penned that classic song King of the Road.

In recent times though it has been Parliamentary secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward who has been proudly wearing the crown and the cloak of high visibility.

The Member for Kiama was joined by hundreds of residents celebrating the opening of the four-lane bypass of Berry at the weekend.

Just days later he can triumphantly boast the third stage of the Princes Highway upgrade will go ahead and was a part of the NSW budget to be announced on Tuesday.

The project, which is estimated to be in the vicinity of $400 million, will begin in earnest with tenders for the project being called.

It was also confirmed the next lot of funding towards the preparation for construction work for the Albion Park Rail bypass was in the budget.

The Albion Park Rail bottleneck has long been a bugbear with South Coast motorists and the bypass now appears a step closer.

Mr Ward has said work this part of the Princes Highway upgrade will begin within this term of government. Once complete, its benefirs will be apparent in the Shoalhaven.  

With the road projects now steaming ahead, along with the recent proposal regarding the F6 extension, it might be a chance for Mr Ward and his NSW government colleagues to consider something else.

Over the past week, readers have made it clear we need better, improved rail services for the South Coast. Our Facebook page has been inundated with comments screaming for bet9ter train services.

For too long this issue has been put in the “too hard” basket.

Residents have called for a change and  it is time for a change.

The Shoalhaven has joined the Illawarra in calling on politicians with foresight and vision to assist this region by “cutting the commute”.

The developments in the road infrastructure are much needed and greatly welcomed.

For a growing region like ours, they will be vital into the future.

But at the same time, more must be done to ensure our rail services keep pace and that won’t happen by just tweaking timetables.

It requires grand vision and visionaries to take us forward into the future.