RESIDENTS of the Towac Valley pushing for the speed limit on roads around Mount Canobolas to be lowered should receive the strongest possible support from Orange and Cabonne councils.
The argument about whether Roads and Maritime Services has received letters in the past asking for speed limits to be lowered is a side issue. It serves little purpose now to be focusing on whether the RMS (formerly the RTA) has lost or ignored residents’ submissions on the speed limit. Nor should residents be fobbed off with a suggestion they sign up to a government website and make their case.
The case for lowering the speed limit on Lake Canobolas Road and Pinnacle Road from 80 km/h to 60km/h is one that should be made by the two councils.
One drive along the picturesque, winding roads which bring locals and tourists to cellar doors, to the lake and up onto Mount Canobolas should be enough to demonstrate to RMS policy makers that in many places an 80 km/h speed limit is simply unsafe.
The roads are for the most part extremely narrow, with narrow shoulders and stands of towering trees on the edges. There are many places only just wide enough for two vehicles to pass.
There are also concealed driveways, tight bends and on the very steep and winding stretch between the Pinnacle picnic area and the Mountain Tea House, dangerous drops, guarded only by ageing safety barriers.
Many stretches of road force local drivers and visitors to travel at speeds much closer to 60km/h than 80km/h but it is not the sensible drivers who are cause for concern.
A reckless or unfamiliar driver could be caught unaware by a tight bend or an approaching truck. If that driver is driving at 80km/h there is little margin for error and the potential for a serious collision.
Tourism and residential traffic has grown enormously in recent years, unfortunately the standard of the roads has not kept pace.