Hannifey welcomes upgrades

WELCOME IMPROVEMENTS: Dubbo truck driver Rod Hannifey is a passionate advocate for road safety. Photo: FILE

WELCOME IMPROVEMENTS: Dubbo truck driver Rod Hannifey is a passionate advocate for road safety. Photo: FILE

Dubbo road safety advocate Rod Hannifey has welcomed upgrades to heavy vehicle rest areas on the Golden Highway, saying “they’ve been a long time coming”.

Four areas will undergo work in the coming weeks: the existing eastbound stopping bay at Dunedoo; new westbound stopping bays at Elong Elong, 37 kilometres west of Dunedoo; near Spring Ridge Road, 28kms west of Dunedoo, and; Boothenba, 30kms east of Dubbo.

Work has already started at two of the four stopping bays, which will include resurfacing, line marking, sign posting, shelters and bins.

“We welcome the improvements,” Mr Hannifey said, adding he was unsure what consultation had been undertaken with the industry.

“We understand that funding is limited and they did a draft corridor strategy, they are doing some other road works on there and we welcome the roadworks, but surely if they’re doing truck rest areas they would seek feedback from truck drivers on where to build those rest areas.

“It would be terrible if they built facilities in the wrong place, or they didn’t provide the best outcome.”

Parkes MP Mark Coulton said adequate and frequent stopping bays along the Golden Highway would help manage heavy vehicle driver fatigue by providing drivers with stops at regular intervals along the route.

“These upgrades will improve safety for truck operators and motorists through the area, helping cope with significant freight traffic increases expected across New South Wales over the next 20 years,” Mr Coulton said.

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said heavy vehicle driver fatigue had been identified as a major contributor to road crashes, making these upgrades a priority.

“The Australian government is investing $23.8 million in these important safety upgrades under the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme and we are pleased to partner with the New South Wales government to deliver this project,” Mr Chester said.

“This is just one example of the Australian government investing in critical road infrastructure, in partnership with state, territory and local governments to help save lives on the nation’s roads.”

NSW Roads, Maritime and Freight Minister Melinda Pavey said work would also start later this month on new stopping bays at Warkworth in the Hunter for freight vehicles travelling in both directions.

Planning was also underway for new stopping bays on Willy Wally Road westbound, 11kms east of Cassilis, and in each direction between Denman and Gungal. Roadside signage will advise heavy vehicles of the stopping bay closures as works progress.