Locals' message to council as road repair delays cause one hour detour into town

Residents living in Wisemans Ferry, north of Sydney, say the situation is driving tourists away and could see local businesses go belly up as a result.

Bollards and road closure signs at River Road in Wisemans Ferry.
The main road in and out of Wisemans Ferry has been damaged for weeks, with locals urging the NSW government to urgently repair it, over fears many will go out of business as a result. Source: ACA

Furious residents of a small coastal community say they're being forced take a one hour detour into town as a result of road damages, which have sat idle for two weeks, meaning for some what was once a one-kilometre journey now takes 38.

Locals living at Wisemans Ferry, north of Sydney, have been cut off from their local town after a landslide swept through the area in June that saw boulders devastate the main thoroughfare of River Road, squashing guardrails and leaving huge holes behind.

Just a few hundred people call the town home. They say that they're fed up with waiting for action from both their local council and the state government, with many reliant on the operation of River Road for business. Leeya Clark-Goodison, whose parents manage the NSW Water Ski Gardens caravan park, fear extended road closures could effectively send them bankrupt.

Leeya Clark-Goodison is pictured, over an image of badly destroyed road at Wisemans Ferry.
Leeya Clark-Goodison's family runs the local caravan park. She says they've welcomed no visitors in recent weeks as a result of damaged roads (pictured). Source: ACA

For the family, what was once a one-kilometre drive into town, now spans 38 kilometres. They say it's this fact that's driven their guests away. According to the Hills Shire Council, which closed the road, repairs first need the approval of the NSW government before they can commence.

"We usually have three, four, five campers there every day, coming in at all times, and now there's no one," Clark-Goodison told A Current Affair. "It's a shell. There's no one there."

The family say they've survived bushfires, floods and the pandemic but this now may be the final nail in the coffin. "We work on commission [and] we're not getting anything," she said.

"How are we supposed to survive when that's their income ... and they're not getting anything from that?People are suffering — it may not be you but it's us. It's a community here and it's not right."

Margie Pratt, Wisemans Ferry Bowling Club licensee, said the business had barely broken even in recent weeks. "There's a lot of history down at that little club and there's a lot of good people that have put a lot of time and effort into it and things like this just break it," she said.

"These sort of things are sometimes like the straw that broke the camel's back. It is hurting the community and it's hurting us."

Yahoo News Australia understands that since the residents' complaints were aired, a single lane has reopened to traffic on River Road, though locals say there's still much more work to be done.

Yahoo News Australia contacted Transport for NSW with regard to the road damages. A spokesperson said the issue was a matter for the Hills Shire Council, who have also been contacted for comment.

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