RESIDENTS are angry and want action after a motorcyclist was tragically killed at the Houston Mitchell Drive and Pacific Highway intersection just days after a speed reduction was imposed.
They say the "human cost" must drive an immediate review of this notorious highway blackspot which has been the site of multiple motor vehicle accidents.
Residents from Lake Cathie, Bonny Hills and across the Hastings are calling for immediate changes to make the "death trap" intersection safer.
A motorcyclist died following a collision with another vehicle at the intersection on March 3. The accident came within days of a speed limit reduction from 110kmh to 100kmh.
Bonny Hills resident Peter Rodgers said he has been warning officials about the dangers at the intersection for almost a decade.
"This is nothing new. It's just appalling that Transport NSW and all the other officials haven't looked at the issues with this intersection," he said.
"There are at least three issues contributing to this from poorly designed road works to the increasing population.
"In my mind, Transport NSW has its priorities completely wrong and the fact that they haven't given priority to what is a death trap intersection - it's mind-boggling."
This is not the first fatality, there is an accident there every few weeks. It needs action by those with the authority to implement immediate change and it should not take another death to deliver that change.Peter Rodgers
Mr Rodgers is calling for immediate changes including an upgrade of the slip lane turning into Houston Mitchell Drive and the addition of a slip lane to the south for traffic turning onto the highway. He says the speed limit should be reduced to 90kmh from the Oxley Highway south to the turnoff.
"This is not the first fatality, there is an accident there every few weeks. It needs action by those with the authority to implement immediate change and it should not take another death to deliver that change," he said.
"An overpass is the long term solution but that is a major project which requires significant funding and lead time. In terms of the human cost we cannot afford to wait for an overpass that is years away.
"This needs to be addressed immediately without photo shoots or statements of potential action. We need a date and specific action, because it's a death trap and calling for patience is not a viable solution."
Mr Rodgers and son, Keiran, created a social media group, Ghost Road Death Trap, after the latest incident which has gathered almost 800 supporters in 48 hours.
Bonny Hills Progress Association vice president Kathy Reagan said the group has formed a sub-committee to campaign for change and has met with federal and state members.
"We met with David Gillespie on March 3. We have requested a meeting with Leslie Williams with more definite statements of action from her," Mrs Reagan said.
"We have started actively collecting data of vehicle counts so that we have specific data to present.
"The community is very concerned about that intersection and has been for a long time. From our understanding the federal government cannot act until they have designs from the state government.
"The reduction in speed could have been done a long time ago. We are puzzled why it has taken so long and why it's only a 10km reduction from 110km to 100km."
Mrs Reagan said the group is encouraging motorists to continue to take extreme care at the intersection.
Lake Cathie resident and motorcyclist of 60 years, Bob Isherwood, said the intersection is daunting for those travelling on two wheels.
"I find it terrible riding the motorbike and it's the most dangerous intersection I can think of," he said.
"If you are a motorcyclist turning left onto the highway it's physically impossible to turn your head round to see if anyone is coming down. You're virtually going out blind."
Saving Lake Cathie spokesperson Stewart Cooper said the community is campaigning for change.
"We try to take a community view and this intersection is something everyone is becoming quite worried about," he said.
"There is an increasing number of developments and people coming to live in the area. We already have a problem and that will only be exacerbated over time."
Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams said investigations are continuing to provide additional measures to improve safety at the intersection and she will keep the community informed as plans progress.
"I extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the man who tragically lost his life following a collision at the intersection of Houston Mitchell Drive and the Pacific Highway on Wednesday morning," she said.
"I have been working closely with Transport for NSW in regard to a number of improvements to the intersection which included the reduced speed limit on the southbound lane which came into effect on Monday.
"I am advised that Transport for NSW recently submitted an application for the upgrade of this intersection under the Australian Government Road Safety Stimulus Program."
Transport for NSW is continuing to investigate additional measures to improve safety at the intersection and will keep the community informed as plans progress, Mrs Williams said.
Member for Lyne David Gillespie met with the Bonny Hills Progress Association to discuss safety upgrades and community concerns about the intersection.
Dr Gillespie is pushing for interchanges and overpasses at Harrington and Houston Mitchell Drive intersections following the most recent fatality and another accident which claimed the life of a 74-year-old woman earlier this month.
"Sadly hours before the meeting we were informed of a fatal accident at the intersection," he said.
"We understand that Transport for NSW has plans for safety upgrades at the intersection and we encourage Transport for NSW to submit these plans for funding under the Federal Government's Road Safety Program or Black Spot Funding."
Dr Gillespie has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack regarding funding for the next phase of the Pacific Highway Upgrade Program.
Dr Gillespie said he would follow the community's calls to see safety improvements carried out and planning work begin on an overpass as a matter of priority.
A Transport NSW spokesperson said agency recognises community road safety concerns at the intersection and began implementing a plan of works in response to these concerns earlier this year.
"From Tuesday, March 2, following a review by Transport for NSW in consultation with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and NSW Police, the speed limit on the southbound lanes of the Pacific Highway has been reduced from 110 km/h to 100 km/h from one kilometre north of Houston Mitchell Drive to 600 metres south of the intersection," the spokesperson said.
"Substantial vegetation maintenance activities to improve sight distance and safety at the intersection have been carried out.
"A temporary variable message sign has been placed on the highway north of the intersection to alert motorists to the upcoming intersection and the speed reduction.
"Vehicle-activated warning signs will also be installed at this location in coming weeks, weather permitting.
"Transport for NSW is focused on future needs along the Pacific Highway corridor and considering potential upgrades such as intersection improvements, including the intersection with Houston Mitchell Drive, and prioritising investment to address safety and efficiency concerns."
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