Petition to change Oxley speed zones

Oxley Highway

Reduced speed zones on the famed Oxley Highway have prompted outrage from riders and sparked a petition to reverse and stop the spread of reduced speed zones along the NSW route.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

The petition over the “ridiculous” speed changes has been started by Wauchope resident Ken Healey after reading about it on Motorbike Writer.

“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.”

Oxley Highway speed zones
Ken on his R 1200 GS

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.”

Oxley Highway speed limit drops zonesThe 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:

Speed zone changes implemented

  • 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.

Walcha

  • 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.

Gunnedah

  • Reduced from 80km/h to 50km/h for about 700 metres west of Alford Street on the Oxley Highway.

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9 Comments

  1. The problem with only catering for the lowest common denominator is you keep lowering the lowest common denominator!
    If they keep heading backwards like this there will be a law passed that you have to have a man with a red flag precede you whenever you drive one of those new fangled horseless carriage thingies.

  2. And will riders dutifully obey? We need more than a petition. How about a couple of hundred riders going at the new speed limits and hold up the grey nomads and tintops for a change? Anyone up for it? This revenue raising disguised as ‘road safety’ yet again. Bullshit!!

  3. The danger of nannies!
    A number of years ago a group of nannies theorised that the fuel saving practice of some pilots of reducing power after takeoff before levelling out could result in a stall and a possible crash. So to prevent this they installed a special program in the flight computer.
    Did the program warn the pilots of a possible stall with an audible command of increase power? NO. Did it use the existing stall warnings? No! It quietly increased the power without the pilots knowledge! What’s wrong with that you ask? Nothing until it killed over eighty people in a crash that had everyone at the NTSB scratching their heads until they found out about the SAFETY program.
    What happened? A plane took off with ice on its wings the ice slotted off and entered the engines causing them to surge. How a pilot corrects this state is to reduce power until the engines stabilise then get back on the power. Because the plane was still climbing when the pilot throttled back the computer increased the power again and destroyed the engines causing the plane to stall out and crash. Killing most of the passengers and crew.
    It is extremely ironic that a solution to a theoretical danger caused an actual disaster.
    The road safety authorities in Australia are a bunch of homicidal lunatics who think they are saving lives when it is clearly evident they are not.

  4. people will be more fatigued by slow drawn out out travel times. Just upgrade the hwy’s like a government is supposed to do. It seems now days all we pay for is government wages. There’s no money left to service the community.

    1. The report that led to this mentions a number of factors that need fixing. But the speed limit is the only one implemented. Says it all.

      But it is serious. The road toll is rising with reducing speed limits all over the country. One wonders how long it will be before the ‘experts’ realise that they need to really think about what they are doing.

      The new government in the NT immediately dropped the derestricted zones as soon as they got in. Why? Zero fatalities is hard to beat. Its not intelligent.

  5. How did the road designers get it so horrifically wrong when they set the speed limits when these roads were built, before air bags, ABS, traction control, and probably seat belts? Maybe all roads should have the speed limit set at 50 kph to save us all. I don’t know how they survive in those incredibly dangerous Euro countries with (unenforced) speed limits of 130 on the open road.

    I feel the need to shred my Aussie passport and move. The inmates are in charge of the asylum, and I’ve had enough.

  6. Petition signed.
    Up the mountain at 70kmh? Not bloody likely! I’ll stick with the great memories accumulated over the 48 years since I first rode it.

  7. It’s not so much motorcycle accidents, it’s sheer traffic flow (Mt glorious especially). So many cyclists, motorcyclists, caravans, hikers, 4wds, tour buses, international drivers all taking these “beautiful” scenic routes. Therefore more “traffic accidents / incidents”. A combo of unfamiliarity with the road, poor roadcraft (not even taught these days) and degeneration of the the roads due to poor construction and drainage. (the corkscrew on Tamborine anyone?) that’s why they drop it. Cheapest option (though a couple of million for some signs is a rip off) and gets revenue under the guise of a “road safety operation targeting specific road users, just for a chat of course” and here we are. $$$

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