Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle has hit back at politicians from the Central West for pushing "simplistic" solutions to the challenges posed by upgrading the Great Western Highway. Her comments came after former federal National Party MP turned Independent, Andrew Gee, attacked the recent axeing of federal funding for highway projects between Katoomba and Lithgow. The announcement was seen as the deathknell for the long-mooted - but never funded - plans for a tunnel between Blackheath and Hartley. But the Labor MP from the Blue Mountains was scathing over the National Party's advocacy for a tunnel when they were in government. "If empty promises and spin were worth anything in this economy, the National Party could have tunnelled all the way to the Bondi outfall, where their bullshit belongs," she said. "Unfortunately they never budgeted for anything but glossy brochures and media releases. Not a single metre of tunnel was ever going to get dug by the former Liberals and Nationals government. "The problems of bigger, longer and more numerous trucks are indeed significant, but as I have said for many years the solutions are more complex than politicians of the Central West may choose to believe." Ms Doyle's comments were prompted after the Western Advocate newspaper in Bathurst reported on trucking industry concerns over the state of the highway at Victoria Pass. Graeme Burke, who successfully ran Burke's Transport for 50 years before its closure in 2022, said he is concerned about the constant pressure being put on Mitchell's Bridge near Mount Victoria, which was hand-built by convicts at Victoria Pass in the 1830s. "Today we're actually running trucks over that bridge that are gross weighing 62 tonnes," said Mr Burke. "What my argument to it is, you have one of these big trucks coming down Mount Victoria, which is grossing 62 tonnes, you have another one which is going up, and they both meet exactly on the convict bridge together - that's a stress weight of 124 tonnes." Without a highway upgrade, he described the bridge as a "catastrophic disaster waiting to happen". Independent member for Calare Andrew Gee shares Mr Burke's frustration and concern. "Graeme Burke remains one of the most highly respected voices for the transport industry, and his concerns about safety, and those of the wider community, need to be heeded and acted upon as a matter of urgency by both the state and federal governments," he said. "We need a modern, safe, fit-for-purpose expressway over the Mountains. "With every passing year more cars and trucks travel on the Great Western Highway, putting increasing pressure on the road and worsening safety issues." Mr Gee said he has "demanded an urgent meeting" with Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Catherine King, over the highway and for the federal funding to be reinstated. But Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, said it was the fault of the previous Liberal and National federal government for not fixing Victoria Pass. "There is no doubt that Victoria Pass needs upgrading, which is why I was disappointed that the Liberals and Nationals did not allocate a cent for safety upgrades for Victoria Pass," she said. "The federal funds were purely for the approaches to the proposed tunnel. "We are committed to working with the NSW government on a package of safety upgrades for the Great Western Highway." Ms Doyle said increasing freight rail services should be pursued as an alternative to a tunnel which would only reach as far as Katoomba. "As a starting point, we have underutilised freight capacity along our railway that is far preferable to my mind than jamming more trucks, longer trucks and heavier trucks through the traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and residential housing of the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Glenbrook," she said.