POLL: Slips solution: hospital roundabout option released

Two slip lanes and a set of lights have been unveiled as the state government’s solution to one of Maitland major sources of traffic gridlock.

Maitland MP Robyn Parker will unveil the preferred option for the Maitland Hospital roundabout today.

Developed by the Roads and Maritime Services in response to public feedback, the major points of the proposal involve:

- Retaining the existing roundabout.

-  Installing left turn slip lanes for traffic travelling eastbound into High Street and westbound into Bungaree Street.

-  Installing traffic lights at the northern end of Johnson Street.

-  Removing the existing pedestrian lights between John Street and the roundabout.

The eastbound slip lane would enable motorists heading to the city centre to avoid entering the roundabout at all.

But those same cars could potentially face a different source of delay, with the slip lane merging into High Street at the same point motorists coming from another direction will exit the roundabout.

The same scenario would also apply to westbound motorists with the slip lane at Bungaree Street.

This could potentially create two new points of gridlock, just metres from the old scenes of frustration for Maitland motorists.

Ms Parker said the preferred option for the roundabout was designed to improve safety and traffic flow along the New England Highway.

RMS staff will be available to answer questions from residents between 4pm and 7pm at the Monte Pio Motor Inn on Wednesday, March 13.

A community update on the project will also be available in coming weeks on the RMS website by visiting www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roadprojects and following the links to the Hunter.

“I encourage local residents and motorists to use this opportunity to be informed about the RMS favoured option and then provide their feedback before the end of the month,” Ms Parker said.

Community members can lodge their comments until March 27, with those wishing to attend next week’s information session encouraged to contact Sharon Parr on 4924 0240 or email Sharon.parr@rms. nsw.gov.au

The state government has allocated $45 million through the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund to upgrade the two five-leg roundabouts in Maitland.

Public comment was sought on the preferred option for the railway station roundabout in August last year, with the final preferred option for that project expected to be announced next month.

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