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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Decrease in speed, increase in revenue concerns Hornery

Wallsend state MP Sonia Hornery is calling on the NSW Minister for Transport and Roads to show any evidence of improvements for residents and road-users following speed limit reduction on a number of thoroughfares in her electorate.

Thursday 11 March (2021) marks three years since the NSW Government dropped the zone restriction on Thomas Street, Newcastle Road and Griffiths Road from 70km/h to 60km/h to enhance safety and travel conditions for motorists.

Unfortunately, according to the local member, congestion has increased in that time.

And, more concerning, is the fact the government’s collected in excess of $6 million in fines from fixed and mobile speed cameras while accidents along the roads continue to occur at the same rates.

“Transport for NSW stated [three years ago] the reason for the reduction was because the stretch of road had ‘concentrated residential and commercial development and a high crash history’,” Ms Hornery said.

“The number of driveways and sight distance were also taken into consideration.

“So, the speed limit change was expected to improve safety for residents and road-users.”

Ms Hornery is now asking Andrew Constance to release the data that was originally collated.

“I’d like the Minister for Transport and Roads to put forward the evidence that the speed limit reduction has actually improved safety for residents and road-users over the past three years,” she said.

“A sceptical person might say that the real reason behind the speed limit reduction was to raise revenue.

“And, it’s hard to argue against that given the government has raked in more than $6 million in the three years since the speed limit changed.

“The speed camera at Griffiths Road is now one of the top 10 in the state and Newcastle Road is the highest revenue earner for mobile speed camera cars in the Hunter.

“Despite the reasoning behind the speed limit reduction, the road still has a high number of low-speed crashes and remains heavily congested.

“If the Minister is still unable to show any evidence of improvements for residents and road-users then he should order an immediate review of the speed limit and ways to improve the congestion on the road.”

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