LYNE MP David Gillespie will take the push for interchanges and overpasses at black spot Pacific Highway intersections directly to the Prime Minister.
Dr Gillespie has backed action by Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams that has seen a review by Transport for NSW of two dangerous intersections at Harrington and Houston Mitchell Drive.
On Monday, February 15, both intersections were the scenes of motor vehicle accidents, one of which killed a 74-year-old woman.
A speed zone review has been completed at Houston Mitchell Drive and the results from Transport for NSW are pending.
Mrs Williams said identifying and prioritising locations to address safety and efficiency issues are a key part of Transport for NSW's longer term strategy for managing the road network.
This takes into account considerations including the safety record and potential risk of the site, highway traffic volumes, turning movements and projected traffic growth.
Dr Gillespie has called on the New South Wales Government to complete the planning process for the upgrade of major intersections. The intersections Dr Gillespie says need to be included in the next phase of the Pacific Highway Upgrade Program include:
- An interchange for Medowie Road, Italia Road and Bucketts Way linking Newcastle Airport the Pacific Highway, western villages, Gloucester and the Barrington Tops with the Pacific Highway
- An interchange at Myall Way linking Tea Gardens & Hawks Nest with the Pacific Highway
- An interchange at Failford Road linking Forster-Tuncurry with the Pacific Highway.
- An interchange at Harrington Road linking Coopernook and Harrington with the Pacific Highway.
- An interchange Houston Mitchell Drive at Lake Cathie-Bonny Hills with the Pacific Highway
- Upgrade of the Oxley Highway interchange linking Wauchope and Port Macquarie with the Pacific Highway
Dr Gillespie said with completion of the upgrade to four lanes along the entire route of the Pacific Highway, construction of the Coffs Harbour bypass underway and planning in its final stage for the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace, it's now time to begin planning the next phase of the Pacific Highway Upgrade program.
He told Parliament that the next phase of investment must include overpasses and interchanges at critical intersections where there has been several fatal accidents and increased traffic flows in recent years.
"Population growth along the Pacific Highway corridor, combined with increasing tourism traffic has made many of these major intersections busy at peak times, raising further safety concerns," Dr Gillespie said.
"In recent times, we have seen fatal accidents at these busy intersections and it's now time for them all to be upgraded."
At many locations along the Pacific Highway north of Port Macquarie interchanges and flyovers have been an integral part of the upgrade roll-out.
To the south, where the initial upgrade began, the priority was not on intersections but rather converting the highway from two to four lanes and onto dual carriageways.
"All of these intersections are a priority and need to be upgraded sooner rather than later. It is something we must put on the agenda now so that further investment can be made by the State and Federal Governments.
"The community at all of these locations are seeking interchanges and overpasses at these intersections and I believe they deserve nothing less."
Dr Gillespie said he would be raising the need for a further phase of the Pacific Highway Upgrade Program directly with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the NSW Minister for Regional Roads and Transport.