South Western Times

Call to drop speed limit is in review


Community pressure to reduce the speed limit on a notorious stretch of Bussell Highway in the South West has been recognised in Parliament as residents up the ante on their plea for safety.

The segment of highway between Busselton and Capel was labelled the “riskiest” road in regional WA by the RAC in 2019 — a sentiment echoed by the Capel Road Safety Action Group as they called for increased safety measures on the road near Capel.

The group has been calling for the speed limit to be dropped from 110km/h to 80km/h for a 2km stretch encompassi­ng three intersecti­ons near the Capel Drive northern entrance in a bid to decrease the impact of an accident in the area.

A speed reduction has proved controvers­ial when discussed online, but group representa­tive Toni Steinbrenn­er sees it as an immediate step that can increase safety at intersecti­ons that cause her to “take her life in her hands” each time she needs to go into town.

She said a lower speed limit might not prevent accidents, but it would “greatly reduce” their impact while alteration­s like a slip lane and other modificati­ons would take longer to implement.

Last week South West Nationals MLC Colin Holt voiced the group’s concerns in Parliament after he was presented with a petition with more than 800 signatures in support of a speed decrease.

Mr Holt asked if the Minister representi­ng Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts was aware of the safety concerns and campaign, and if and when she would meet with residents.

Education Minister Sue Ellery answered on Ms Roberts’ behalf and said the Road Safety Commission had previously met with the Capel Country Women’s Associatio­n about Bussell Highway and the Capel and Peppermint Grove Beach intersecti­ons.

“Main Roads will review the intersecti­on further, including the speed, when the (Bussell Highway duplicatio­n) roadworks are complete,” she said, adding that Ms Roberts was happy to meet with residents on the matter.

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