Police launch traffic operation for L’tape Australia – Illawarra and Shoalhaven

Police are reminding the community of changed traffic conditions and road closures around the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions for L’Étape Australia this weekend.

In its fifth year, L’Étape Australia by Tour de France, is a world-class road cycling event for amateur cyclists run under professional conditions.

Four thousand cyclists are expected to compete in the event this Saturday (20 March 2021), which starts and finishes in Kiama. There are two components to the event; ‘The Race’ that starts and finishes in Kiama – involving around 3,000 riders – and ‘The Ride’ which starts in Kiama and finishes in Berry – involving 1,000 riders.

The routes travel through the towns of Kiama, Gerringong, Gerroa, Shoalhaven Heads, Bomaderry, Berry, Kangaroo Valley, Robertson and Jamberoo.

Major road closures and contraflow arrangements will be in place.

The Race: Delays will be experienced along the Princes Highway north of Gerringong and south of Kiama. Road closures will include Kangaroo Valley Road, portions of the Illawarra Highway, Moss Vale Road and Jamberoo Mountain Road at Robertson. There will also be closures down Jamberoo Mountain through the township of Jamberoo, Saddleback Mountain Road and Manning Street, Kiama.

The Ride: Road closures will be on place on Bolong Road and Coolangatta Road between Shoalhaven Heads and Bomaderry, as well as Coolangatta Road between Shoalhaven Heads and Berry.

Roads will begin closing at 4am and will progressively open throughout the day, with all closures expected to be lifted by 5pm. A route map can be found via the L’Étape Australia website: https://letapeaustralia.com/routes/

In the interest of road safety, both pedestrians and motorists need to be aware of their responsibilities and make sure they obey all directions from police and traffic controllers.

With wet weather expected throughout the week and across the weekend, police are advising all road users to show extra caution and remain alert while on the road.

Lake Illawarra Police District Commander, Detective Superintendent Dean Smith, said safety is the number one priority for police.

“We are asking that the community remains respectful and courteous to other spectators, race participants, employees, volunteers at the event, police and local communities,” Det Supt Smith said.

“We will not tolerate any behaviour that deliberately disrupts the event or puts others in danger. It is important that everyone obeys the direction of police, traffic management crews, and event officials.

“If there is heavy rain or the roadway is flooded, pull over in a safe place and wait for the flood water to recede or find another way to your destination.”

For more detail about road closures and live traffic reports, refer to the live traffic website: www.livetraffic.com

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