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16 June, 2021

RACQ advocates improvements for local state roads

Among the list of roads that RACQ has stated the Queensland Government needs to improve are the New England Highway and Gatton Clifton Road.

RACQ believes that Gatton Clifton Road could benefit from low-cost, high-benefit upgrades using a combination of state and federal funding.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Susan Furze said she encouraged the State Government to fast-track business cases and investment for local major projects, including those with Federal funding allocations.

“We need the State Government to deliver its share of the money to improve safety, accessibility and the condition of our regional roads, so Queenslanders don’t have to wait any longer for much-needed transport upgrades,” she said.

Ms Furze said RACQ was prioritising safety upgrades to the New England Highway between Yarraman and the New South Wales border.

“There’s also a prime opportunity for the Government to take advantage of the $3 billion Federal Road Safety Program to fund and deliver low-cost, high-benefit upgrades.”

Ms Furze said RACQ is urging government leadership to deliver a mass action road safety program of low-cost high benefit safety treatments across Queensland’s road network.

“At the very minimum we want to see at least a 30 per cent reduction in fatal and serious injuries on our roads by 2030,” Ms Furze said.

“To achieve this we would need to ensure three quarters of all road travel occur on roads with an AusRAP safety rating of 3-stars or better for all road users.”

Ms Furze said RACQ data had recognised Gatton Clifton Road as one of the more dangerous roads in the state when it comes to AusRAP safety.

“This would potentially include multiple upgrades to Gatton Clifton Road which, based on our AusRAP map, has a large proportion of 1 and 2-star roads.

“For a road that carries fairly low volumes of around 845 on average a day it is over-represented in crashes and crash rate. 

 “There have been 17 fatal serious injury (FSI) crashes and 22 FSI injuries over the five years 2015-19,” she said.

In RACQ’s Mobility Matters 2020-24 document, which outlined proposals to the Queensland Government following the 2020 State Election, it stated that the government should “commit to a complete safety works package to the New South Wales border” for the New England highway.

Ms Furze said the New England Highway requires a safety works package with upgrades including lane and shoulder widening, safety barriers or removal of roadside hazards, rumble strips, wide centre line treatments, intersection improvements and additional overtaking lanes and opportunities.   

“These aim to address the most common types of crashes on rural roads, which are run off road, head-on and intersection crashes.

“Upgrades should also include flood improvements and overtaking lanes to improve safety and efficiency,” she said.

Ms Furze said improving safety was paramount given Queensland’s horrific road toll and it was vital the Government acted to better protect drivers by accelerating road upgrades and increasing visible police presence.  

“Sadly, we’re on track for one of the worst years for road deaths with 23 people killed in the Southern police region alone, since 1 January,” Ms Furze said.

The Southern police region includes Clifton.

 “Our members tell us a visible on road police presence is the most effective way to change driver behaviour. 

“Safer roads also lead to fewer crashes and those in south west Queensland deserve to have good quality roads, that are well policed, to prevent further serious and fatal injuries,” she said.

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