The Roads and Maritime Service’s recommendations to drop speed limits along the New England Highway has already sparked an outcry in Maitland.
While some motorists have adopted a wait-and-see
attitude, mining parts courier Maitland Pit Express says the decision will cost the Hunter economy thousands – if not millions – of dollars in lost productivity.
If Pit Express general manager Aaron Goadsby is correct in his estimations, NSW Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay could soon have a bigger problem than the one he is trying to fix by streamlining the number of “annoying” speed zone changes across the state’s roads.
Motorists moving between Maitland and Branxton, especially in peak hour traffic, will be horrified to learn that the RMS wants to reduce the speed zone between Rutherford and Lochinvar from 90km/h to 80km/h.
Admittedly it’s not a great change, but for those
travelling the road daily to go about their business it will add to their journey.
And for businesses like Pit Express it’s an imposition they can least afford because, according to Mr Goadsby, time is money.
The minister tells us that as a result of the review there are 37 fewer speed zones across the state, allowing
drivers to concentrate on the road instead of speed signs.
Some of the changes will be welcomed as they are gradually rolled out, but it’s hard to see Maitland motorists warming to the changes proposed between Rutherford and Lochinvar.
Hopefully, if the changes don’t work and complaints fly thick and fast, the RMS will take another look at the 3.2km stretch of road and rethink its position.