26 September, 2023
Intersection an “accident waiting to happen”
AN intersection that is used to access the Tolga Industrial Estate from the Kennedy Highway will be closed permanently if a move to close it due to safety concerns proves to be successful.
Tablelands Regional Councillor Peter Hodge has flagged his intention to move that the Manthey Road intersection be closed permanently, given it has no turning lane from the highway and there is no road shoulder allowing other vehicles to go around the turning vehicle.
Vehicles exiting Manthey Road back on to the highway, have to do so with only a slim sightline of traffic coming through the Tolga Scrub, going up to 80km/h.
Cr Hodge believes the intersection is an accident waiting to happen and says three vehicles were involved in a collision at the site only recently.
In his motion to council, Cr Hodge asks that Tablelands Regional Council write to Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey requesting the closure.
“The Manthey Road-Kennedy Highway intersection is known to be unsafe due to the absence of protected turning and acceleration lanes in an 80km/hr traffic environment,” he wrote.
“Given this, the Department of Transport and Main Roads has imposed conditions on development of the Atherton Business and Industry Park prohibiting vehicle access between the Atherton Business and Industry Park and the Kennedy Highway via Manthey Road.
“Recently, the Department of Transport and Main Roads agreed to remove that condition and it is understood that they are monitoring traffic pressures in the catchment and will take steps to close the Manthey Road-Kennedy Highway intersection at such time as it is considered appropriate.
“An alternative link between the Atherton Business and Industry Park and the Kennedy Highway is proposed, however it may be a number of years before that is constructed.
“Increased traffic pressures in the area will no doubt mount as the Atherton Business and Industry Park are developed, thus increasing the likelihood that conflicts will occur as a result of the sub-standard intersection.”
Last week, Cr Hodge told The Express that if council would not support a full closure immediately, they may decide to ask for some restrictions of movement at the intersection.
“It could be that we ask that vehicles can only turn left from the highway into Manthey Road and exit the road to turn left only as well,” he said.
“That way you don’t have vehicles turning right from Manthey onto the highway in 80km/h traffic. It would be better than doing nothing.”
Cr Hodge is expected to move the proposal at this week’s Tablelands Regional Council meeting.