'SAVE LIVES': Call for 60km/h zone at road black spot
LONG term plans to fix a dangerous stretch of the Bruxner Hwy continue to remain under wraps as local residents continue calling for a 60km/h zone be installed in the interim, to "save lives".
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin said concerned locals continue to approach her, requesting the 80km/h zone be dropped to 60km before and after the notorious Alphadale crossroads on the Bruxner Hwy.
Ballina resident and regular road user, Matthew Felsch was among the residents who contacted Ms Saffin.
"To save lives and further injury the section of highway between Ballina Road at Bruxner Hwy and Alphadale Road intersection to Goonellabah should be reduced to 60 kilometres per hour," the Ballina resident said.
"This section of approximately 1.4 kilometres requires this speed reduction to mitigate accidents until alternative engineering plans can be implemented.
"There is limited visibility at a standstill while turning from Cowlong Road or Alphadale Roads entering Ballina Road or Bruxner Highway, when through traffic is at 80km/h or more, reaction times are greatly reduced."
Mr Felsch said he was professional driver, trained through the Australian Regular Army to operate roadtrains and high performance cars as a VIP driver conveying politicians and generals.
"The government has a responsibility to micromanage our road infrastructure regarding driver behaviour, hence the states and territories provide highway patrol officers who are employed to police," he said.
"This intersection is becoming a state black spot, and the speed limit in the area needs to be reduced."
When asked whether transport for NSW would consider Ms Saffin's recent proposal to completely realign the Bruxner Hwy to bypass the crossroads, a spokesman for the regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole reiterated the department had "already identified and carried out safety improvements in this area and is investigating options for further work."
Ms Saffin said Minister Toole was aware of calls for the short-term improvement of a 60km zone and the lack of action was not good enough.
"It is not as fast as it needs be, but given its lack of attention meant in the past political times, I shall endeavour to catch up," Ms Saffin said.
She called the reply from Transport for NSW "a safe and standard bureaucratic response".
"Actions speak louder than words and Transport for NSW are quite engaged in this issue," she said.
"A Transport for NSW representative, Lismore City Council Traffic Advisory Committee representatives and myself will undertake an inspection and site visit quite soon."