News

Four from four – Pacific Hwy the worst

THE Pacific Hwy has been named the state's worst road for the fourth year in a row, and will probably top the list for the next 20 years, a Grafton road campaigner has said.

Dr Ray Jones, the spokesman for Doctors for a Safe Pacific Highway, said he was not surprised drivers voted the Pacific Hwy at Coffs Harbour as the worst road in the state in a NRMA survey.

He said it would not be safe until the entire road was dual carriageway.

"Sixty per cent is dual carriageway but 40% still needs to be replaced. That's almost half," he said.

"The government is saying the problem is all over, that they've allocated funding."

STATE'S WORST ROADS

  1. Pacific Hwy at Coffs Harbour
  2. Pennant Hills Rd at Pennant Hills
  3. Parramatta Rd at Concord
  4. Princes Hwy at Albion Park
  5. Barton Highway at Murrumbateman
  6. Kings Hwy at Braidwood
  7. Bucketts Way at Allworth
  8. M5 Mwy at Revesby
  9. Narellan Rd at Campbelltown
  10. M4 Western Mwy at Granville

But the doctor said the highway traffic was still "incredibly heavy".

He added that the risk of accidents was high and all it would take was for someone to get tired and drift to cause a crash.

"A lot of people will die (on the road) before they finish it but they can save lives" Dr Jones said.

"If they've got the will to spend the cash, they can stop people dying on the highway."

Nearly 12,000 motorists were surveyed in the NRMA's Seeing Red on Roads Campaign.

NRMA Motoring and Services president Kyle Loades said the Pacific Hwy topped the list for the worst road in NSW because of congestion, not enough lanes and poor road surfaces.

"While the full duplication of the Pacific Hwy should remain the priority, with the population of the Coffs Harbour area set to double in the next 20 years we should also be looking towards ways we can ease the congestion for locals - such as building a bypass," he said.

Mr Loades said the government's initial target to complete the Pacific Hwy by 2016 would not be met and the NRMA would continue to hold the government to account on the new deadline of 2020.

The Doctors for a Safe Pacific Hwy group was formed in 2012 after an 11-year-old boy was killed when a truck ploughed into his bedroom in Urunga while he was sleeping.

The group held a protest march shortly afterwards and later a dual carriageway was built between the town and Nambucca Heads.

"It made the town safer and there haven't been any fatalities since then, but the Pacific Hwy is still a dreadfully unsafe road," Dr Jones said.

Topics:  nrma pacific highway



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