Riders can still ride the Oxley Highway with realistic speed limits this Christmas after winning a reprieve from the Roads and Maritime Services.
The RMS had earlier this year decided to reduce speed limits in several locations along the famed motorcycle road, beginning with a short stretch near Wauchope in September.
Local residents and businesses and riders from throughout the nation reacted to the changes and initiated a petition, protest rally and several meetings with RMS representatives.
The RMS decided to suspend the remaining speed limit changes until a further review. However, the reprieve was only temporary, pending the results being released before Christmas.
Now a Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson says the review results will not be released before Christmas.
“Following concerns raised by the community Roads and Maritime Services has been consulting further with the community around planned speed limit changes on sections of the Oxley Highway,” an official reply says.
“Investigations to inform the review, including additional traffic data, are ongoing, with a report expected in the New Year. Roads and Maritime is committed to working with the community.”
Petition organiser and speed zone protester Ken Healey, of Wauchope, says he believes they are “still collecting data” and is not optimistic.
Despite the temporary speed reprieve, he still urges people to sign his petition which now has more than 7000 signatures.
“Let’s keep the pressure on and please get as many people as you can to sign the petition,” he says.
This comes as Wauchope, the gateway to the Oxley, recently declared itself a motorcycle friendly town.
Speed zone changes
The speed zones already implemented on September 19 will remain, at least for now:
- Reduced from 60km/h to 50km/h on a 2.5 kilometre section of the highway, west of Beechwood Road to the Wauchope cemetery
- Reduced from 100km/h to 80km/h on a three kilometre section of the highway, west of Bagnoo Road to Long Flat village
- Reduced from 60km/h to 50km/h through Long Flat village.
Other proposed speed zone changes over the next year are:
Long Flat to Walcha
- Mountain section – reduce from 100km/h to 70km/h for 27km (reprieve, pending review)
- Next section – reduce from 100km/h to 80km/h for 4km (status unknown)
- Reduce from 100km/h to 80km/h for 8.3km starting 75km east of Walcha township (status unknown)
- Reduce from 110km/h to 100km/h for 2km starting east of Hartford Road to west of Hartford Road. This is a transition zone leading into Walcha township (status unknown)
- Reduced from 80km/h to 50km/h for about 700 metres west of Alford Street on the Oxley Highway (status unknown)
John Oxley Drive and Wrights Road
- Increase from 90km/h to 100km/h between Wrights Road and John Oxley Drive (western occurrence). (This is expected to be implemented following the completion of road upgrade work on this section expected late this year.)
The proposed speed limit changes were only one of 14 recommendations in a July 2105 Oxley Highway Route Safety Review.