The Englands Rd roundabout has seen the wreckage of countless trucks over the years.
The Englands Rd roundabout has seen the wreckage of countless trucks over the years. Frank Redward

Someone is going to be killed on this blackspot roundabout!

IT'S the notorious deathtrap at the southern gateway to Coffs Harbour that continues to see accidents time and time again.

And with the bypass not expected to be completed until at least 2024, there are concerns it's only a matter of time before someone is killed at the Englands Rd roundabout.

When yet another truck rolled over while navigating the roundabout late last month, it reignited the community's concerns.

Located on the Pacific Hwy, the 100kmh northbound lanes hit a sudden 60kmh when approaching the roundabout.

Many say this, in conjunction with overgrown vegetation, poses a potentially fatal risk to drivers.

Andrew Fraser MP even took the issue to Parliament recently, calling for a solution.

He said the short-term solution to the problem is to have the heavy vegetation removed from the roundabout. He added ripple strips should also be installed.

"The real danger is that late at night a semi-trailer that cannot see vehicles coming the other way could roll on another vehicle and not only injure the driver, but also take a life," he said.

"The solution is fairly simple. Whilst I believe ripple strips should be introduced on the southern side of the roundabout, the major problem is the vegetation and the fact that drivers cannot see the way in which the road veers to the north-east once they get around it."

 

Wal Pike, who has been driving trucks since the 1950's, said the Englands Rd roundabout is one of the most dangerous he's seen.

He agreed the vegetation has 'completely obscured' vision from all sides.

"That roundabout is dangerous, it should have no vegetation on it at all," Mr Pike said.

"As a truck driver you need to be able to see that couple of hundred metres ahead and on each side.

"When you've got big long loads, with proper experience you will know exactly how that load will cut across a roundabout but not all truck drivers have the experience to properly manoeuvre around a roundabout like that."

Advocate reader Jeffrey Cox however believes the issue boils down to drivers ignoring the 60km speed limit.

"All that is required is for the existing speed limits and warning signs to be observed," he said.

"Maybe the placement of a speed camera on the approach and illuminated variable signs based on prevailing weather conditions would achieve immediate results.

"Perhaps one day the bypass will solve the problem."

The roundabout is set to be redesigned in 2020 under the construction of the $1-billion proposed Coffs Harbour Pacific Highway Bypass.



REVEALED: The number of guns on the Coffs Coast

premium_icon REVEALED: The number of guns on the Coffs Coast

One registered firearms owner in Coffs possesses a massive 58 guns, according to...

Coffs Coast’s richest and most expensive schools revealed

premium_icon Coffs Coast’s richest and most expensive schools revealed

Check out how your schools rank in government funding.

Mother remembers 'baby girl' killed in Bellingen crash

premium_icon Mother remembers 'baby girl' killed in Bellingen crash

"SO glad I gave you a hug and said I love you yesterday."