Opinion: Why more roadworks, extended delays and unplanned stops are needed on Western Australia’s highways

Jon DoustAlbany Advertiser
Author and storyteller Jon Doust at home with a collection of his works.
Camera IconAuthor and storyteller Jon Doust at home with a collection of his works. Credit: Laurie Benson/RegionalHUB

Just when you think all is clear for a drive along Marine Parade, you are stopped by that sign you were not expecting but should have been.

You stop, wait, and ponder what is going on because nothing seems to be. Just a small group of workers dressed in yellow vests, standing, looking, waiting.

I waited so long one day, there was enough time to write a letter to the Minister for Roads.

Dear Minster,

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Recently I drove to Manjimup from Mount Barker on that highway named after people who used to build their own roads and I was only forced to stop for 30 minutes. On a long road, I don’t think that’s long enough.

I had things to do on my phone, calls to make, emails to send. I would have preferred somewhere around 40 minutes.

By comparison, Forrest Highway between Bunbury and Perth has a lot more stop-time at roadworks. Albany Highway could do better too.

Another road that’s really missing out is Great Southern Highway. I often drive that way to Perth and am continually disappointed by the lack of stoppages with works or even stoppages with no works.

And what about that road from north of Mount Barker to Boyup Brook. I can’t remember the last time I saw roadworks on that road. That is also a road that could do with more roads to get to it.

By the way, congratulations on Albany’s new ring road. Some friends from Perth went through there last week and had all the time in the world to muck around on social media. Took them so long to get out I had to run across the red dirt piles and throw water bottles into their open window.

Bonus. They spotted a busload of retirees from Scarborough they had not seen for 20 years and every so often they were able to yell memories across the piles.

One new aspect I have noticed is the roadworks on roadworks. Is this an Albany City innovation? Well done, the more roadworks there are and roadworks on roadworks, the more time we get to play car-time games with the grandkids in the back seat.

I’ll see you, roundabout, in Albany.

Jon Doust is an author and tour guide based in Albany.

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