LETTER: National Party needs to answer on New England Hwy
I AM a life-long user of the New England Highway.
On behalf of all the taxpayers who have been insulted for years by the highway's condition, I dare the NSW National Party to explain where all the money spent on this highway has gone.
Not the whole National Party. Barnaby Joyce, Federal member for New England, and Duncan Gay, NSW Minister for Roads will do.
The Hunter Bypass of the former Labor government is fabulous but the same old New England Highway from Maitland to Singleton is still there.
It is a dreadful mess and as the population of the lower Hunter Valley rises, the Highway will simply get worse.
Getting into, through and out of Singleton is as awful as ever, and at change of shift in the mines, only more awful.
From Singleton to Murrurundi things are the same as ever - two-lane stretches are short and unpredictable.
Why has no-one ever thought of actually joining them up?
Some overpasses north of Singleton were built with this in mind, but that was nearly 50 years ago and nothing has ever been DONE about it.
Taxpayers have been mocked by these overpasses for all of that time.
A glorious freeway is not required - just two lanes of ordinary road each way would be enough.
North of the border, the New England Highway is narrow, rough, winding and dangerous.
It has silly little bits of double carriageway hither and yon, which would indeed be truly useful if they were joined up.
Cunningham's Gap is Queensland's answer to the Moonbis, Ben Lomond and Bolivia Hill all in one, and the 90km (count them all!) from there to Brisbane are another insult to taxpayers.
Barnaby and Duncan, people might believe that all this money really had been spent on the New England Highway if there were at least good, gentle descents on these four terrible hills (uphill traffic could go on using the existing road).
Or if all the silly little bits of double lanes had been joined up.
But there aren't, and they haven't, so people don't believe it.
The total length of road involved on the four hills, just by the way, is less than 40km.
Please explain. And boys, don't try saying that there's no money available.
We all remember that your beloved Tony Abbott tried to give the Victorians a billion dollars for a road tunnel in Melbourne.
They didn't want it, but he insisted.