Sign won’t stop road accidents
Merging lane is required
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.”
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.