Speed increase green light for Pacific Highway
A PROPOSAL to boost speed limits on the Pacific Highway has the tick of approval from the head of a group of local mayors which has campaigned on road safety issues.
Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson, the chairman of the Pacific Highway Taskforce, says NSW Road Minister Duncan Gay's proposal to increase speed limits on the Pacific and Hume highways to 120kmh has his support.
"The minister was speaking about areas where the highway has already been upgraded and can handle speeds greater than 110kmh," he said.
"We know the Pacific Highway upgrades are designed to be capable of increased speed limits in the future.
"And we know technology improvements in vehicles have improved dramatically over time."
Cr Williamson said roads with 110kmh limits would be the ones most likely to have the limit increased.
"We have one section of 110kmh highway between the Clarence and Coffs Harbour now and several south of Coffs Harbour," he said.
"Once the highway upgrade goes through there's likely to be substantially more sections of that standard of road."
Fairfax media reported Mr Gay, "ordered the RMS to cost remediation works on both the Pacific and Hume Highways which would mandate grade-separated intersections and crossroads".
"We're okay at 110kmh but when you've got crossroads coming in on most of those roads ... that's a problem," Mr Gay said.
"The best way I can look at raising the speed limits in place is to put a proper road in to allow that happen ... I'm awaiting the results of those costings shortly."
On Thursday Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles handed down a report confirming that open speed limits had reduced the number of accidents along the trial section of the Stuart Highway when compared with a 130kmh posting previously in place.
Historical data also suggests higher speed limits have led to fewer fatalities.
Open speed limits were abolished by the former Territory Labor Government in 2006 and replaced by a maximum limit of 130kmh. More people died on Territory roads (307) in the six years after, than in the six years before the change (292).
A number of European countries with speed limits above 130kmh record fewer fatalities than Australia.