Speed limit raises noise, safety fear

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

The speed limit on a stretch of Albany Highway is set to remain despite a resident’s repeated safety concerns.

Albany Highway resident Kris Dixon, who lives opposite the sign where the speed drops from 80km/h to 60km/h heading south into Albany and rises to 80km/h heading north on the highway, has called for a further review by Main Roads.

Mr Dixon has lived on the highway for 12 years and has requested that speed limit sign be moved 1km north, partly to reduce noise for residents on the stretch.

Mains Roads says the 60km/h limit was moved to the current location five years ago and is reflective of the transition from urban to semi-rural environment, along with motorists’ high compliance with the existing speed limit.

Main Roads Great Southern network manager Brad Lenton said the review established the current speed zoning was appropriate.

“Notwithstanding in view of recent concerns regarding noise and safety, Main Roads undertook a comprehensive review of the current speed zoning along this section of Albany Highway,” he said.

“The review included an examination of current and historical speed and road safety-related information, road geometry and environmental factors.”

Mr Dixon said the recent crash of a road train north of his home had led him to readdress the issue and he believed the stretch could be classified as urban with homes on one side of the road.

“There was that truck accident, it ran right off the road,” he said.

“It wasn’t his fault but it could happen again.

“It’s such a simple thing to ask.

“It wouldn’t cost any money, just 1km. We have traffic coming in at 60 instead of 80 and it would be safer and a hell of a lot less noise.

“I’m not asking much.”

Mr Lenton said moving the speed limit sign north as requested by Mr Dixon would result in greater non-compliance and frustration for local motorists but a further review would be undertaken periodically. “While it is likely that as the City of Albany expands in the future, the 60kph zone will be extended on Albany Highway to accommodate the changing roadside environment and increased traffic volumes, inappropriate speed zoning can cause frustration to motorists and therefore needs to be carefully considered by Main Roads to maintain the balance of road safety, network efficiency and community needs,” he said.

“In the meantime, Main Roads has installed a Reduce Vehicle Noise sign on the approach to the 60km/h to address the noise-related concerns.

“The effectiveness of this treatment will also be monitored over time.”

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