Best road over the Blue Mountains?

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 18, 2015 at 14:40
ThreadID: 117529 Views:1546 Replies:5 FollowUps:12
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We're just about to tow our van East to West across the Blue Mountains. Can anyone please give us some advice on which is the best (easiest on your tug) road to take, Great Western Highway or Bells Line of Road?
Retirement finally here, got the Troopy, got the van, got the plans, got the itchy feet.

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Apr 18, 2015 at 16:33

Saturday, Apr 18, 2015 at 16:33
Been 20 years since I was last on Bell's Line, Pete, but I'd still think Western h'way would be the easiest.

More dual lanes and overtaking lanes, as well as somewhat more direct route. Bell's does a lot of winding along the ridge lines.

You won't be lacking for company on either route! :-)

Bob

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Reply By: Meridith D - Saturday, Apr 18, 2015 at 16:37

Saturday, Apr 18, 2015 at 16:37
GWH has more overtaking lanes but is also more stop start due to traffic lights and more residential areas. Bells Line of road is more rural, less chances for other to overtake you and can be a bit windy. Both have a steep decent on the western side but take it easy and it's fine. Bells Line of road also has a steep incline on the eastern side. It really depends where you are coming from. It makes no sense to take Bells Line of Road if you are coming up the M4, for instance.
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Reply By: Member - TonyV - Saturday, Apr 18, 2015 at 17:03

Saturday, Apr 18, 2015 at 17:03
Peter,

Not sure where you are heading to which is sort of important.

But as you are in Erina on the Central Coast head north then west at Freemans waterhole and away you go, nothing too steep and pick the right time little traffic, if you really want to you can go a little further north and take the new link to Maitland etc...

But if you are going to Bathurst the freeway and HWY all the way. Bells can be a pain for caravans
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 09:32

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 09:32
Good idea. Also gets you out of the Sydney mayhem. And no tolls!!
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Reply By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 07:46

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 07:46
Thanks everyone, very much appreciated. The Great Western Highway certainly sounds like the way to go.
Retirement finally here, got the Troopy, got the van, got the plans, got the itchy feet.

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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 10:03

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 10:03
Be aware they now have those average speed cameras operating between the top of Victoria Pass to the Jenolan turn off. Not suggesting you would be speeding but its easy to slip over 60kph going down the pass and they aren't just measuring your speed at the camera. Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 13:14

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 13:14
Michael,

"Point-to-point speed cameras

Measuring the average speed of vehicles over long distances, point-to-point cameras in NSW are only used to monitor the speed of heavy vehicles
"

RMS web page
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 13:27

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 13:27
Not so, they are different cameras. That discussion has already been on here before.
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Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 13:53

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 13:53
Thanks Michael H9,

Can you point me to the definitive link for this?

While I don't doubt what you are saying, I seemed to have missed this discussion somehow.

I do like to check on these sort of items and the only reference I can find for NSW, the area we are talking about is....

""Point-to-point speed cameras - Roads and Maritime Services
RMS web site

Mar 3, 2015 - Point-to-point cameras in NSW are only used to monitor the speed of heavy vehicles. ... that there is no possibility that a driver's speed can be overestimated. ... Can this technology be used for detecting speeding cars?
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 13:54

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 13:54
Having said that Tony, I have to call you out for using facts in an internet discussion....lol
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Follow Up By: madfisher - Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 20:49

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 20:49
Work mates son works for the RTA, at the moment they are only used for trucks, but their is nothing stopping them using them for cars in the future.
Make sure you are in a low enough gear at the top of the pass as its quite steep.
Cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 22:33

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 22:33
OK, thanks for all the feedback but, on another tack, the weather looks to be particularly nasty tomorrow (forecast: "heavy rain") through Katoomba-Lithgow-Bathurst. Any suggestions on the best way to handle the conditions?
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Apr 20, 2015 at 07:56

Monday, Apr 20, 2015 at 07:56
Delay your journey for a day or two?

Otherwise drive with extreme caution, headlights on low beam, and keep a 3-4 second gap between you and vehicle in front of you. Use van brakes to slow down, if necessary, and try not to get in a situation where you might need to do an emergency stop.

Don't worry about the other drivers.......most of them will have increased their speed, because it's raining, and they can't see anything anyway. :-)

Safe trip,
Bob

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Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015 at 22:34

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015 at 22:34
Bob,

Serious thanks for yours and others advice.

After some deliberation, we decided to proceed with our journey (even after a delayed start due to non functioning brake lights requiring a quick trip to the auto electrician). We took the Great Western Highway route and despite the horrendous conditions, following your advice, after a night in Carcoar, are now safely in the Riverina area of NSW where it's cool but calm and dry.

Thanks again to everyone,
Regards,
Pete
Retirement finally here, got the Troopy, got the van, got the plans, got the itchy feet.

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015 at 06:09

Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015 at 06:09
"Cool, calm & dry"?......Sounds like western Qld, Pete. :-)

Glad the trip went well, enjoy the rest of it.

Bob

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Reply By: Mike W1 - Friday, Apr 24, 2015 at 22:00

Friday, Apr 24, 2015 at 22:00
Hi Itchy,

Not sure where your traveling to, but you could use the M5 out of Sydney and come up to Cowra via Yass, Far easier to travel that way when your towing IMHO.

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015 at 22:16

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015 at 22:16
Hi Wilko,

Great suggestion. We're already over via the Great Western Highway, and now in Mildura, but will certainly look at this route for next time.

Thanks,
Pete
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