Victoria bridge crossing the Nepean River at Penrith is a death trap for pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge carries 2 lanes of traffic and a combined pedestrian and cycle way. In an attempt to improve safety, signs at each end of the bridge requires cyclists to dismount – a less than satisfactory solution.
Victoria bridge is the only crossing of the Nepean River between Penrith and Emu Plains other than the M4 motorway crossing 3.5km to the south and Yarramundi bridge 18km to the north.
The bridge was built in 1867 as the first successful and permanent crossing of the Nepean River. originally built to carry trains, its been adapted for two lanes of traffic and a 1.33m wide footpath.
Crossing the bridge in a car, particularly when passing a truck, is unnerving – certainly it focuses drivers’ attention.
Crossing the bridge as a pedestrian or cyclist is just plain frightening – the closeness to the traffic, the wind tunnel effect of the high walls and the feeling of helplessness should something go wrong are strong and imposing
The bridge is an important piece of community infrastructure yet much of the community is reticent or refuse to use it as a pedestrian or cyclist due to concerns for their safety.
Surely we can’t tolerate such a situation to continue.
It’s time for a safe crossing of the Nepean River at Victoria Bridge.