WODONGA’S Lincoln Causeway will escape a VicRoads’ plan to abolish 80km/h speed zones from most entrances to regional towns and cities.
Victorian Roads Minister Terry Mulder yesterday unveiled a review of speed limits and announced the 80km/h buffer zones would be dropped with drivers moving from 100km/h to 60km/h limits when they reached most localities.
“These buffer zones were intended to help drivers slow down from 100km/h to 60km/h as they approached a built-up area,” Mr Mulder said.
“VicRoads believes drivers only need to be warned that they are approaching a 60 km/h zone, allowing them to slow down at their own pace.”
But VicRoads North East regional director Graham Freestone said 80km/h areas would remain on the causeway, which links Wodonga and Albury, and the Murray Valley Highway from Wodonga to Killara.
“The Lincoln Causeway and the Murray Valley Highway from Wodonga and Killara will remain 80km/h zones because they are not regarded as a buffer zone,” Mr Freestone said.
He said exact details about which North East towns would lose their 80km/h entrance speed zones were still to be determined.
“VicRoads will be replacing 80km/h buffer zones with “60 Ahead” signs, so road users can slow at their own pace,” Mr Freestone said.
“Each buffer zone across Victoria will be addressed either this year or next.
“Some 80km/h speed zones between 100km/h and 60km/h zones are in place due to the number of access points. At these locations, the 80km/h speed limit will remain.
“The changes will be completed by June.”
RoadSafe North East road safety officer Robert Allen welcomed the dropping of 80km/h zones, saying it should lead to less confusion for drivers.
“There are simply too many signs to read on most roads,” Mr Allen said.
“Everything you read and hear about it suggests there are too many signs.
“It’s a distraction if you’re constantly looking for speed zones.
“Distractions are a major problem inside and outside the car.”
One 80km/h zone confirmed as being reduced to 60km/h is a stretch of Barkley Street at Rutherglen — between Killeens Lane and Muscat Court, past Chambers Rosewood Winery.
Winemaker Bill Chambers yesterday welcomed the move.
“People from Uncle Tobys use it to get to Albury,” he said.
“At certain times, it is quite busy on that stretch.”