Facebook group wants highway to be upgraded

A STATE-WIDE group is hoping the information superhighway will bring North Coast residents together to campaign for a safer Pacific Highway.

The NSW Business Chamber has set up a page on social networking website Facebook called 'I support fixing the Pacific Highway', which has already drawn more than 2000 members.

The page acts as a hub for interested people to share their views on the upgrade of the highway and is expected to draw more members once word spreads on the web.

Northern Rivers regional manager of NSW Business Chamber Sharon Cadwallader said: "The Facebook group has received a number of postings of stories of family members and friends whose lives have been cut short by this dangerous road.

"This group allows our communities to put faces to the horrible statistics that seem to have become a fact of life," she said.

An NRMA audit of the Pacific Highway in 2007 revealed there have been almost 10,000 crashes on the road in the past decade, in which 326 people have died and 3778 were injured.

"It has been almost 20 years since the initial call to action to make the highway safe to travel on, after two horrible bus crashes cost 55 people their lives," Ms Cadwallader said.

"And the upgrade is still not finished, with the RTA's own website revealing only 38 per cent of the 677km is now a double lane divided road."

Ms Cadwallader said even with current construction plans, only 52 per cent of the highway has been upgraded or is in the process of being upgraded.

"I'm calling on everyone in NSW to join the group and show the Government that we will no longer tolerate the lives of locals and travellers being put at risk when they travel on the Pacific Highway," she said.

Click here to visit the group's Facebook page.

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