Harold Scruby says the speed limit on the bridge should not be increased

Mosman Daily – Thursday 14 April 2005

80km bridge limit ‘crazy’


STATE Government proposals to abolish 70km/h and 90km/h speed limits on NSW roads could spell disaster for those travelling across the Harbour Bridge, especially if the limit is increased to 80km/h.


This is the view of Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby, who has warned Roads Minister Michael Costa that the Government proposition to standardise speed zones could be ‘‘extremely dangerous''.


‘‘It would be crazy to suggest increasing the speed across the bridge. Few would argue crashes would increase especially in the suicide lanes around the northern pylon,'' Mr Scruby said.


He said unless the Government installed speed cameras, motorists who could go 80km/h would inevitably travel faster. ‘‘This would create a dangerous and deadly situation especially for inexperienced drivers, those in wet weather and travelling at night. There are lots of zones where 70km/h is reasonable but 80km/h is not.''


Mr Costa's proposal results from discussions at a recent road users' conference where the Government announced it intended to audit ‘‘confusing speed limits'' on 10 of the state's busiest roads.


Mr Costa said he had asked the RTA to move towards more consistent zoning by progressively removing the 70km/h and 90km/h zones where possible.


The Government would then move to a basic regime of 60km/h, 80km/h and 100km/h on main roads, with 110km/h being reserved for major motorways.


Motorists interviewed by the Daily at Kirribilli did not support an increase in the speed limit across the Harbour Bridge.


Most agreed traffic management needed to be better but would not support an 80km/h speed limit.


Nancy Mobbs, who owns the Colonial Bakery at Kirribilli, said bridge traffic would become ‘‘far more dangerous. People already drive like maniacs and this would make it worse.''


Kirribilli Quality Meats owner Paul Phelps said he ‘‘hated driving on the bridge''.


‘‘I can hear the cars racing across from the shop here and they are always going too fast.''


Vox pop, Page 27


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