“I live in Wauchope and ride the Oxley highway to Gingers Creek every Sunday and have done so for 15 years,” he says.
“I first heard of these changes, as ‘proposed changes’ maybe four years ago at a community event at the golf club. Now, out of nowhere, the changes are taking effect.
“They gave us no warning. No published ads or TV or radio ads, nothing. There was no formal notification. Just the neon signs that have only been there a few days at most.”
Ken has addressed his petition to the Roads and Maritime Minister Duncan Gay and each time a rider signs it, an email alert will be sent to the Minister’s office.“I and probably thousands of others are cheesed off to say the least.”
The Oxley Highway joins several other great motorcycle roads in Australia with reduced speed limits in an apparent effort to reduce motorcycle crashes. The infamous list includes Mt Glorious Rd, The Great Ocean Rd, The Putty Rd, Bells Line Of Road and The Great Northern Rd.
A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson says speed zones will change at three locations in the 30km stretch between Wauchope and Long Flat “to improve safety for all road users”. (See the updated list of speed zone changes at the end of this article.)
“The need for these speed zone changes were identified in the Oxley Highway Route Safety Review.”
The reduced speed zones include an 80km/h zone dropping to 60km/h near Wauchope and the 100km/h zone near Long Flat reduced to 60km/h.
Over the next year, they will extend up into the mountains with the 100km/h reduced to 70km/h and the 110km/h out to Walcha reduced to 100km/h.
While the reduced speed zones may not slow traffic, they will increase the level of fines for those who ride the highway at the same speed they do now.
Veteran motorcycle journo Mick Matheson says the Oxley Highway is a road all riders should travel at least once in their lives. (See his video below.)
Unless this petition is successful, it looks like you will have to ride this road within the next year to enjoy its treasures at a legal speed.
The RMS now advises the following specific speed zone changes:
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.
Speed zone changes in coming months
John Oxley Drive and Wrights Road
Increase from 90km/h to 100km/h between Wrights Road and John Oxley Drive (western occurrence). This will be implemented following the completion of road upgrade work on this section expected late this year.
Long Flat to Walcha
Mountain section – reduce from 100km/h to 70km/h for 27km
Next section – reduce from 100km/h to 80km/h for 4km
Reduce from 100km/h to 80km/h for 8.3km starting 75km east of Walcha township.
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.
Reduced from 80km/h to 50km/h for about 700 metres west of Alford Street on the Oxley Highway.