After the RAA made their visit to the Lower Eyre Peninsula this week, the deteriorating conditions of the region’s highways have been put in the spotlight.
With the Lincoln, Tod and Flinders highways set to see a lot more road traffic as a result of the peninsula’s rail contract in turmoil, it is fast becoming an urgent matter for residents, haulage businesses and commuters to see a commitment to road funding in SA.
Charles Mountain, the RAA senior road safety manager conducted an initial review along the highway this week, and said that while the section between Port Augusta and Whyalla was safer due to the installment of overtaking lanes, sections from Cowell down to Port Lincoln had some major issues with shoulder sealing and ill-repaired sections.
It has long been known to drivers that the lack of overtaking lanes is only going to be made worse, particularly if with more trucks to end up on the road as a result of the potential rail closure.
It is a situation often exacerbated by increasing numbers of road users during harvest and the busy tourist season.
The Eyre Peninsula is left waiting around while regions like the Iron Triangle receives heavy investment, bringing guaranteed infrastructure.
As the federal and state budgets loom, the RAA has already begun to rally for funding commitment in anticipation of the federal election, and it can only be hoped that ministers and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure can listen to the region’s needs.
If central and lower EP is to become a developmental area for mining, ports, and other industries, the region should also be able to could on investment into essential infrastructure.
To be continually forgotten by governments is frustrating and it is an oversight that endangers people’s lives.
Eyre Peninsula residents have further to travel than those in the city, they also travel at high speed and deal with more than just pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
Locals contend with wild life, heavy vehicle traffic and people towing caravans; they should not have to contend with dangerous roads.
The deterioration of roads by road trains and a lack of maintenance needs to be addressed and soon.