Pacific Hwy 'sub-standard'

NRMA calls for urgent funding injection into Pacific Highway, claiming it is 'sub-standard'

November 5, 2009

The National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA) says findings from its latest report into the upgrade of the Pacific Highway shows the project is unlikely to be finished by its 2016 deadline.

The organisation also says more funding is urgently needed, twenty years on from the initial recommendation from the New South Wales Coroner that the road needed to be upgraded to a dual carriageway following the disastrous Cowper Bus Crash near Grafton in 1989.

"While the Australian Government should be congratulated for injecting much needed funds over the past five years, unless there is a further injection of funds, people using Australia’s busiest road will have to continue to put up with a sub-standard highway," NRMA President Wendy Machin says.

According to the report, only 50 percent of the road has been upgraded despite $3.5 billion being injected into the project from state and federal governments.

"The report found of the projects for which full data is available almost seven-in-ten Pacific Highway upgrade projects finished late, meaning the Australian and NSW Governments will need to ensure no time is wasted between now and 2016 if the Pacific Highway becomes dual carriageway," Machin says.

Machin says the number of crashes on the Pacific Highway, both fatal and non fatal, have increased dramatically due to the increase in traffic capacity.

"Governments need to recognise the necessity of duplication as increasing numbers of passenger and freight vehicles are now using the Pacific Highway as its condition improves – particularly where the highway serves town centres," she says.

"The sooner [former NSW] Coroner [Kevin] Waller’s recommendations are implemented the more money and lives will be saved."

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