5 August, 2023
Slip lane on the back burner
A LONG-awaited slip lane at Bilwon Road has been put on the back burner after the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) backflipped on its promise to get the works done.
Mareeba Shire Cr Lenore Wyatt, who has been pushing for the slip lane for many years, told a council meeting she was disappointed at TMR’s decision.
“TMR has come back to us to say the slip lane would be put on hold. For five years, we have lobbied for that through our Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC) and I did a story in The Express saying that would be happening because we had confirmation,” she said.
“So, at the last TAC meeting, I asked that if they are not going to do that, then they need to look at the speed because there are so many near misses out there that something has to be done.”
Deputy Mayor Cr Kevin Davies, who chairs the TAC meetings, said the decision by TMR showed the lack of care for regional communities.
“They said the works would not be done because of the funding – they initially had funds to do that work, but the quotes came back and the costs blew out,” he said.
“However, Cross River Rail blew out by some billion dollars and they seemed to find funds for that yet they can’t find a couple of hundred thousand to do this for a regional community which bewilders me – they are so out of touch with regional communities that it makes me cranky.”
Cr Locky Bensted agreed, saying Cross River Rail was a “comfort thing” while the Bilwon Road slip lane was one of safety.
Council agreed to write to TMR requesting that the speed limit along Mulligan Highway, between River Road and Bilwon Road, be reduced from 100km/h to 80km/h and investigate town entry treatments for Biboohra like that installed at Emerald Creek.
Cr Wyatt did commend TMR for its quick action in installing a sign at the double passing lanes at the “jump-up”.
Council asked for the sign to alert motorists of vehicles turning in and exiting from Yuruga Nursery.