Hwy speed cut, but trucks won't be affected

Reduced speed limit on a section of the Arnhem Highway in the Northern Territory will come into place next month

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | June 27, 2013

A reduced speed limit on a section of the Arnhem Highway in the Northern Territory will come into place next month.

Drivers will be asked to travel at 110km/h on a high-risk 61km stretch between Lambells Lagoon and Bark Hut Inn.

The Territory Government has decided to drop the speed following concerns by community groups and the transport and mining industries at recent road safety forums.

Wildman River Stock Contractors (WRSC) Manager Michael Swart says the restriction will have little impact on the transport industry because most trucks are quads and travel at 90km/h.

He believes the limit will reduce overall congestion.

"It gets extremely busy. You can sit there and there’s a road train and once that’s out of sight you can see the next one," Swart says.

"It’s just due to the amount of projects that are happening that require product coming out of that area.

"But it doesn’t make any difference to the industry at all because we can’t go over 100km/h anyway. The only issue would be for cars trying to overtake road trains and they can’t go to such a speed to do so anymore."

Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles says traffic volumes have increased by 10 percent in the past five years.

The Territory has also assessed speed limits around roadhouses and will introduce an 80km/h limit in front of Bark Hut Inn.

The Corroboree Park will also see a reduction to 100km/h. However, the limit near the South Alligator Roadhouse will rise to 100km/h.

The road will also be strengthened and widened, with truck stop facilities upgraded and several overtaking lanes installed.

The speed limit will remain 130km/h along the rest of the highway.

The speed changes come into effect on July 8.

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