18 March 2023

Member for Blue Mountains, Trish Doyle MP, met today with the family of a young woman -- Mackenzie Blake -- whose life was tragically cut short at Blaxland in November 2021 when a disqualified driver struck her with his truck as she walked to the station from her job at the McDonalds.


Ms Blake's mother Tracy and her two brothers, Rowan and Jordan have been asking for government to build a safety barrier along the Highway at Blaxland to ensure a similar tragedy is averted.


The NSW Opposition Leader, Chris Minns, met with Trish Doyle last year to see first hand the traffic conditions at the spot where Mackenzie Blake was killed, and committed then to funding once in government a physical barrier to prevent future tragedy.


"The tragic loss of Mackenzie to this senseless and avoidable road trauma should never have happened. That driver should never have been behind the wheel. However, we live along a Highway along which thunder thousands of semi-trailers daily," Ms Doyle said.


"We have to make the Highway safe for all road users, including pedestrians, so I have ensured that amongst Labor's election commitments this year is a promise to build a safety barrier that will separate this dangerous stretch of footpath from the traffic," Ms Doyle said.


The stretch of footpath between Blaxland Station and Layton Avenue is not just a connection between Blaxland village and the McDonalds, it is also the site of a busy bus stop and is used as a thoroughfare for children on their way to and from school.


The barrier will be built in two parts, addressing the stretch of eastbound Highway where Mackenzie was killed but also a similar section between Coughlan Road and Hope Street along the westbound side of the Highway where the same risks exist, especially for school children.


This pedestrian safety improvement will be funded amongst other road improvement projects throughout regional New South Wales. It will be dedicated to the Blake family, in remembering Mackenzie, who have been advocating for a safety barrier since her death.