Aplin puts brake on Tim’s call for speed increase

FORMER deputy prime minister Tim Fischer’s call for a 120km/h speed limit for cars on dual carriageways has been dismissed, at least in NSW.

Member for Albury Greg Aplin, who chairs the all-party NSW Staysafe Committee, disagreed with Mr Fischer and said NSW would not be moving to a 120km/h limit anywhere.

“The Roads Minister Duncan Gay and the Centre for Road Safety don’t want such a change, and I go along with that,” Mr Aplin said.

Mr Fischer’s proposal is one of 12 transport projects and policy decisions in a new book, Future Proofing Australia, written by 18 prominent Australians.

Mr Fischer said yesterday when he had travelled in Europe while ambassador to the Vatican, the standard speed on such roads was 130km/h.

“I’m proposing a two-year trial for cars on good dual carriageway highways outside urban areas and only during daylight,” he said.

“It could certainly apply to the Hume Highway in this area once the Holbrook bypass opens.”

Mr Fischer argues the change would boost the highway’s capacity while reducing travel times.

But Mr Aplin said Australia didn’t have the multi-lane autobahns and freeways of Europe and he couldn’t see any justification for faster speeds.

Mr Aplin said NSW authorities regularly reviewed limits and last year considered a proposal to lower the 110km/h freeway speed through Albury — but decided against it.

A high speed rail network is also on Mr Fischer’s list — a scheme he will support when he opens a one-day conference on the subject at The Cube in Wodonga today.

Greg Aplin

Greg Aplin