UPPER Hunter Shire mayor Wayne Bedggood admits he is “frustrated beyond belief” in regards to the latest update concerning the Scone overpass.

While the town’s bypass has received the “green light” in recent months from both state and federal governments, the residents’ preferred choice suffered another setback in the past week.

Councillor Bedggood met with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) representatives but “it wasn’t the news I wanted to hear”.

“They’re still working on the overpass options – and we’ll need to wait at least another six-to-eight weeks,” he said.

“Apparently, the project remains on the table.

“However, the RMS informed me there wasn’t dedicated funding for it.

“That in itself didn’t surprise me.

“The funding is primarily for the Scone bypass.

“But, we were promised the overpass would be incorporated into the [bypass] development.”

Unless money is left over from the bypass project, Cr Bedggood said council would need to seek funding for the overpass.

“That’s not what we asked for,” he told the Advocate.

“So, I’ll be meeting [state and federal] politicians over the next week.

“I’m not sure what we could have done differently to get the right outcome.

“Plus, there’s been a constant lack of communication with the public, which needs to be addressed, too.”

Only a fortnight ago, one of the key highlights of the NSW Budget was an allocation of $29 million for the New England Highway bypass in town.

It followed a vow by the federal government in May that $65 million had been ticked off to start building the four-kilometre project.

“Everyone knows the volume of traffic, especially heavy vehicles, which passes through Scone on a daily basis,” Cr Bedggood said.

“So, the bypass will be a terrific improvement for Scone and the region in general.”

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