Sign won’t stop road ac­ci­dents

Merg­ing lane is re­quired

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Louise Shan­non

A FOR­MER Queens­land Mines Res­cue Ser­vice of­fi­cer is con­cerned about a se­ri­ous crash oc­cur­ring at a sec­tion of the new Toowoomba by­pass – the Payn­ters Loop Rd/ Heli­don Spa end – fear­ing that a give way sign lead­ing onto the busy 100km/h War­rego High­way has cre­ated a dan­ger­ous in­ter­sec­tion.

Mur­phys Creek gra­zier Peter Mc­paul said the part of the newly con­structed road that wor­ried him was where it con­nected west­bound driv­ers to Post­mans Ridge Rd via the War­rego High­way.

He said the new Payn­ters Loop Rd – which had al­ready proven con­tro­ver­sial – had no run-on or merger lane and only a give-way sign for cars to use be­fore en­ter­ing the high­way.

Mr Mc­paul, who spent 25 years as a work­place health and safety of­fi­cer in the min­ing and con­struc­tion in­dus­tries, said he wanted safety at the Payn­ters Loop Rd/war­rego High­way en­try to com­ply with guide­lines in the Depart­ment of Trans­port and Main Roads De­sign and Plan­ning Leg­is­la­tion.

He said Payn­ters Loop Rd should be made safe for road users or it should be closed.

The loop road, which opened in early De­cem­ber, at­tracted crit­i­cism in 2016 as plans meant it would ex­tend travel east­bound along Mur­phys Creek Rd by 16km to go to With­cott Seedling, Gat­ton or Bris­bane.

Mr Mc­paul said there had been no con­sul­ta­tion from Nexus or Lock­yer Val­ley Re­gional Coun­cil about Payn­ters Loop Rd with the af­fected ar­eas.

He said the con­struc­tion of the loop road and the safety is­sues it rep­re­sented were out­side tmr.qld.gov. au’s Queens­land Prac­tice Guide­lines, Road Plan­ning and De­sign Man­ual Sec­ond Edi­tion, July 2016, and EP149 Man­aged Mo­tor­ways P6, P9.

“If there is an ac­ci­dent at Payn­ters Loop Rd, it would be fa­tal be­cause there’s no safe en­try or any­where to go if a ve­hi­cle en­ters in front of on­com­ing traf­fic,” he said.

“Com­ing west now to get ac­cess to Post­mans Ridge Rd, we’ve got to come up 2.5km and join the new Toowoomba By­pass Rd. But in­stead of go­ing up to where the Old Post­mans Ridge Rd was and join­ing that, ve­hi­cles have to exit onto the loop road, in­creas­ing the dan­ger, to gain ac­cess back onto the War­rego High­way 100km’h zone from a give-way sign, in­stead of trav­el­ling less than a kilo­me­tre to join the old Post­mans Ridge Rd.

“There is a risk of a ma­jor ac­ci­dent from a stand­ing start into a 100km/h zone. Low­er­ing the speed lim­its is only a ban­dage ef­fect for a newly con­structed road.”

A Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices spokesper­son said if they had con­cerns on an is­sue they passed it on to TMR but did not com­ment specif­i­cally on this mat­ter.

A TMR spokesper­son said the de­sign of Payn­ters Loop Rd had met re­quired de­sign stan­dards, tak­ing into ac­count high­way and side-road traf­fic vol­umes.

“Safety is our high­est pri­or­ity and we urge all road users to take care on the road net­work,” they said.

“No con­cerns have been raised with TMR re­gard­ing its op­er­a­tion.”

PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

AC­TION NEEDED: Mur­phys Creek man Peter Mc­paul be­lieves a give way sign is a poor choice for the new Payn­ters Loop Rd, which is part of the Toowoomba Sec­ond Range Cross­ing de­vel­op­ment.

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