Locals win fight to lower speed

The Pacific Highway speed limit through Urunga will be lowered to 50km/h as of Tuesday.
The Pacific Highway speed limit through Urunga will be lowered to 50km/h as of Tuesday.

THE speed limit on the Pacific Highway through Urunga will be dropped to 50kmh as of next Tuesday.

The change comes after a vocal campaign from local residents in the wake of the town's greatest road tragedy in January.

Electronic message signs are today in place to advise motorists of the upcoming speed limit change.

Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser said the road safety change follows a review of the existing 60kmh highway speed limit.

"After the recent tragic crash in Urunga the NSW Government fast-tracked a number of safety improvements for the Pacific Highway through Urunga, including this review," Mr Fraser said.

"The review was carried out in accordance with the NSW Speed Zoning Guidelines and in consultation with councils and community groups and assessed factors including road environment, traffic characteristics and crash profiles.

"As a result, the existing 2.7 kilometres of 60kmh speed limit will be reduced to 50kmh.

He said the change will be complemented with a town entry feature, emphasising the transition from rural to urban to be installed by mid-2012.

Roads and Maritime Services yesterday confirmed one of the point-to-point cameras earmarked on the northern side of Urunga will be located just south of the Short Cut Rd turn-off.

Local road safety campaigner John May said there was a community concern that the location of the camera may make it possible for truck drivers to leave the highway and avoid detection via Short Cut Rd before merging back onto the highway at Raleigh.

An RMS spokeswoman said it is important to ensure the cameras are located at sites which reduce the possibility of truck drivers trying to use alternative routes to avoid the enforcement lengths.

"The review found placing the gantry on the northern side of the intersection would not improve safety at the intersection, however would allow drivers to avoid detection, compromising the purpose of the whole length," the spokeswoman said.

"Most likely, one camera site will be installed just south of Short Cut Rd to ensure drivers cannot use the road as an alternative to avoid detection."

Topics:  speed limit

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