Residents and business owners both along and surrounding Lyndoch Road, Gomersal, have been waiting to have the road sealed for at least eight years – and they’ve had enough.
The Surrounding Community of Lyndoch Road and Southern Barossa Alliance groups have repeatedly approached Light Regional Council regarding the matter, but say they have seen little traction.
According to SBA chair Simon Taylor, the local community had noticed traffic, particularly heavy vehicles, had increased along the road in recent years, causing a number of concerns.
This included the safety of road users and a noted decrease in tourism since Gomersal Road was sealed and highlighted as the main entrance to the Barossa.
Anecdotally, Mr Taylor said businesses in the Southern Barossa had noted a 30 per cent decrease in business.
“Bituminising Lyndoch Road would help,” he said.
“For us, it is about improving the economy and vitality of the Southern Barossa.”
A formal study would seek to establish the full economic impact.
Lyndoch Road resident Karl Roth said the unsealed road affected his family on a safety level.
“Safety is number one for me. We end up with silicate dust all over the house from the road – (LRC) refuse to answer my questions on the product they are using. I’m completely disgusted by LRC’s lack of action.”
Gomersal Wines’ Barry White – who paid to have the 200 metre section in front of his cellar door sealed – said the regular heavy vehicle machinery was another safety concern, for both the truck drivers and oncoming cars.
“They’ve (LRC) always said they are going to seal the whole thing,” he said. “If they did it section by section like they said, I’d be okay with it, but we can’t get any honest answers out of them.”
Meanwhile, future developments at Chateau Yaldara hinge on the road’s sealing.
“We need to know one, if they’re going to seal it and two, when,” general manager Anthony Grundel said.
“We’ll keep doing what we’re doing (for now), but we’ve already identified issues in relation to tourists and trucks.”
Aside from heavy vehicles speeding past the popular tourist attraction, tourists only enter from the Lyndoch side of the winery as many hire car companies do not allow their cars to travel on unsealed roads.
Recent communications from council have indicated it would consider sealing the road between Schmaal Road and Gomersal Wines.
LRC infrastructure and environment general manager Richard Dodson said Lyndoch Road was a candidate for the Accelerated Infrastructure Upgrade Program, pending a financial contribution of about $54,000 from the community.
“The council would fund the preparation of the road for resealing (one kilometre which would enable the road to be sealed to Gomersal Wines),” he said.
But, in short, there was no plan to bituminise the full length of Lyndoch Road.
Schubert MP Stephan Knoll has recently joined the campaign and indicated his support for the sealing of Lyndoch Road to LRC.
“I have first hand experience of driving this road in the wet and it is downright dangerous,” he said.
“The sealing of this road would not only have huge benefits for the locals on the road but it also has a broader strategic purpose.
“It would connect the Southern Barossa more closely with those visitors who come up via the Sturt Highway and Gomersal Road.
“I hope that all councils in the area will identify this road as having broader regional importance in improving the visitor experience.”