Northern Distributor Road speed limit to remain the same

IN THE FAST LANE: Orange City Council traffic committee chairperson Russell Turner is disappointed the Roads and Maritime Authority will not increase the speed limit on the Northern Distributor Road. 
Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI   0517dcspeed1

IN THE FAST LANE: Orange City Council traffic committee chairperson Russell Turner is disappointed the Roads and Maritime Authority will not increase the speed limit on the Northern Distributor Road. Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI 0517dcspeed1

THE Roads and Maritime Services will not budge on a proposed speed limit increase for the Northern Distributor Road (NDR), citing 26 crashes and three fatalities as to why the status quo should remain. 

Orange City Council requested the RMS review the limit with a view it could be increased to up to 100km/h from 80km/h in some sections. 

Council’s traffic committee chairperson Russell Turner said he was disappointed the RMS had decided not to increase the limit but vowed the fight was not over. 

He will ask council to use traffic counters on the NDR to measure the number and speed of cars and trucks and submit another application to the RMS to review the limits based on the data collected. 

“I would not be surprised if traffic counters placed between Bathurst Road and Leeds Parade showed most drivers were doing up to 90 km/h,” he said. 

“I know myself, I find it hard not to do 90.

“I would hope the police used discretion with speeding fines in that area ... I believe they do.”

But fellow councillor Neil Jones said he supported the RMS decision to maintain the status quo because any increase in speed, particularly near the Icely Road intersection, was a “disaster waiting to happen”.

“The only increase I would support is 80km between Forbes Road and Molong Road ... it’s currently 70,” he said.

The NDR between Escort Way and Leeds Parade has had 22 crashes, including six that caused injury and one fatality, according to the RMS statement to council. 

Between Leeds Parade and the Mitchell Highway there have been four crashes, including two fatalities. 

The RMS said the number of crashes on the NDR was a strong indicator that the speed limits should be maintained. 

It also said the NDR speed limit should remain consistent with nearby roads such as Icely Road, Ophir Road and Leeds Parade, which had limits of 80km/h.

But Mr Turner said at least one of the NDR  fatalities involved one truck on a straight stretch of road, which he argued should not have been used as evidence against a speed limit change.

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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