HIGHWAY INADEQUATE: Former patrol officer Les Shave is concerned for residents if Eight Mile Lane is not upgraded.
HIGHWAY INADEQUATE: Former patrol officer Les Shave is concerned for residents if Eight Mile Lane is not upgraded. Jenna Thompson

Perfect storm created tragedies on Valley roads

FORMER highway patrol officer Les Shave wants to see Eight Mile Lane upgraded to reduce the number of road incidents in the Clarence Valley.

"I want complete movement of heavy vehicles onto the new highway,” he said.

"The transport companies would prefer that anyway. They don't want to come through Ulmarra to 50km/h zones, they want to keep moving because they're on a time limit.”

The Tyndale resident said that in his years working with Sydney Highway Patrol he came to realise the importance of designing appropriate roads to accommodate the high volume of traffic.

"The idea is to create a decent motorway between Brisbane and Sydney, but that's currently not the case.

"The old Pacific Highway is inadequate for B-doubles and trucks alike, it's not suitable for the traffic that's currently using it.”

Mr Shave said a number of factors had contributed to road incidents in the Clarence Valley.

"No matter how much you slow it down or how many speed cameras you've got, you can't stop human error like falling asleep or getting frustrated behind the wheel,” he said.

"In this area, there aren't enough rest areas for trucks, so they try to push on or try to pull over where they can. Then there's the frustration of travelling along a major highway and being slowed down to 50km/h, as motorists are when they pass through Ulmarra.”

Mr Shave said he would be concerned for Tyndale residents if the Eight Mile Lane upgrade does not go ahead.

"If it doesn't happen, it looks like they're going to be just like Ulmarra with the constant noise of trucks gearing up and down as they enter and exit the new Pacific Highway,” he said.



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