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.