Deaths shouldn’t be the trigger for upgrades

Councillor John Wells is right. Something needs to be done about the intersection of Jervis Bay Road and the Princes Highway – and it needs to done soon. 

Ask any motorist who travels south on the highway during the morning peak and the experience is consistent: someone will pull out from Jervis Bay Road to enter the highway when it is unsafe to do so.

Similar close shaves occur regularly at Forest and Island Point roads, despite the latter having the speed limit cut from 100 to 80km/h.

It’s not hard to understand why this happens so frequently at Jervis Bay and Island Point roads when you see the amount of traffic backed up trying to get onto the highway.

As you pass the queue, you can almost sense the frustration and simmering impatience. The temptation is for those motorists caught in the queue to take risks.

T junctions onto busy highways are never ideal but the reality is we can’t afford a flyover at every one of them. However, there are strong arguments for them at Jervis Bay Road and Island Point Road.

New housing developments, including the large unit complex planned for St Georges Basin, will add pressure to these key intersections. 

We could wait for the crash data to tell us something should have been done or we can begin having the discussion now, as a matter of urgency. If we are to prevent tragedy, it’s important everyone affected by these intersections – those caught in the queues and those who run the gauntlet – speaks up.

It has been said before but needs saying again: developers who profit from housing should contribute to the strategic infrastructure needed to sustain those subdivisions and apartment blocks. Yes, they do contribute to local infrastructure via Section 94 payments but there is a strong case to have them pitch in for improvements paid for by the state government.

Highway intersections should be factored in when thousands of new cars are introduced into neighbourhoods courtesy of housing developments.

There has been excellent work improving the highway north of Nowra and south as far as Jervis Bay Road. The upgrades put our region within easier reach of Sydney, also adding to the traffic on our roads.

We need intersections that can handle those extra vehicles entering the highway. We need them before people are killed.