THOMPSON Road residents have applauded the start of work to improve the safety of the road's intersection with the Mitchell Highway but have called for more to be done.
Upgrades to Thompson Road started last week with the NSW government investing $2.98 million to fund a dedicated right turning lane into the road, protecting turning vehicles from traffic travelling down Ammerdown Hill heading west.
The work will also widen the intersection and replace the road surface, line-markings and guardrail.
"We're happy they're putting in a turning lane but a lot of the residents (on Thompson Road) still want it to be 80km/h," Thompson Road resident Cooey Tancred said.
However, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the NSW Government had lowered the speed limit to 80km/h in July.
Mrs Tancred said her understanding was that was for 200m either side of the Thompson Road intersection which she described as 'a joke'.
"We really need that 80km/h zone to go from the Agrestic Grocer all the way through to just past Griffin Road," she said adding every other road leading into the city was 80km from the Cabonne boundary and that Griffin Road was also becoming busier.
The Cabonne boundary is just past the Griffin Road turnoff which is on the left heading west.
Mrs Tancred said the speed limit had been dropped to 80km/h from the Agrestic Grocer since work began last Monday but she would like confirmation it would stay that way when work was completed.
Member for Orange Phil Donato said the work on the intersection was long overdue.
"It's a shame it took so long," he said referring to a fatality at the intersection on July 2.
John Keegan, 15, was helping Stephen and Sue Doyle, whose car had been hit by a utility at the intersection when a truck crashed into the two stopped vehicles, with the teenager dying at the scene.
Mr Donato said he first brought the matter to Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole's attention in February this year, four months before the fatality.
"I explicitly said he needed to do something and he completely dismissed it," Mr Donato said.
Mr Toole said along with the lowered speed limit, signage had already been improved.
"We're all aware of the tragic fatality that occurred at this intersection in July and our thoughts are still with those affected by this loss," he said.
"We want this intersection to be as safe as possible, as quickly as possible, so up to 50 people will be carrying out this safety work, with the aim of finishing it before Christmas.
"The community gave their feedback on the proposed designs in March which helped us shape the final upgrade and now we're delivering on that."
Work will be carried out between 7am and 6pm from Monday to Friday and then between 6pm to 6am from Sunday to Thursday. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the year, weather permitting.
Changed traffic conditions include night work, detours and reduced speed limits will be in place for the safety of workers and motorists.
Motorists should allow extra travel time and follow the direction of traffic control and all signs, including reduced speed limits.
For the latest traffic updates, download the Live Traffic NSW App, visit livetraffic.com or call 132 701.
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