Motorists playing 'Russian roulette' with trucks

MP calls for upgrade of dangerous NSW road, claiming motorists are being forced to play "Russian roulette" with trucks

By Brad Gardner | November 24, 2010

Motorists are being forced to play a game of "Russian roulette" with trucks on a dangerous stretch of road in NSW due to a lack of funding for upgrades.

Hawkesbury MP Ray Williams says motorists fear travelling on the Bells Line of Road between Richmond and Bell, which is used heavily by tippers operating from the Clarence Colliery.

He has called on the NSW Government to widen the single-lane road and construct an overtaking lane to reduce accidents.

"They [motorists] have said it is almost a case of playing Russian roulette as these trucks move at considerable speeds and, because of their sheer size and length, require more lane space than is currently available on this narrow section of Bells Line of Road," Williams says.

"This winding, single-lane road with very steep descents, especially between Mount Tomah and North Richmond, provides little opportunity to overtake slower vehicles."

He says motorists become frustrated and take risks attempting to overtake the trucks.

"If the required road improvements were implemented the number of accidents would be reduced," Williams says.

"Widening road shoulders allows more room in each lane for vehicles to move, which is especially important on this road with the movement of larger trucks from the Clarence Colliery."

A study by the NSW and federal governments is currently underway into the Bells Line of Road.

The study is designed to identify short, medium and long-term options for the route.

It will cover the road near Kurrajong Heights to the Sydney Motorway network, from Kurrajong Heights to Bell and from bell to the Great Western Highway near Lithgow.

However, Williams has labelled the study "questionable" and a waste of money because it makes no commitment to upgrade the road.

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