If every road was a dream, then we probably would have many less road rage incidents, accidents and congestion to deal with on an everyday basis. However, in reality, this isn’t the case and there are many disliked roads that really get us down.
The worst of the worse have been highlighted as part of the National Roads & Motorists Association’s (NRMA) latest Seeing Red on Roads campaign. Encapsulating the frustrations and anger of over 12,000 motorists from both NSW and the ACT, the survey pinpoints locations that drive us up the wall.
For the fourth time running, the winner (or in this case loser) was the Pacific Highway at Coffs Harbour. This section of road was voted slightly ahead of the other members on the podium, Pennant Hills and Parramatta Roads.
In addition, the Barton Highway was one of the most common responses from outside Sydney. The stretch of highway at Murrumbateman featured in the top five worst roads for the first time. It is interesting to note that the Princes and Kings Highways also featured in the top 10 which highlights the work that needs to be completed on important routes deeper in the two regions.
Pacific Highway issues
According to respondents, the Pacific Highway is well deserved of its place at number one given its high congestion rates, lack of adequate lanes and poor road surfaces. The highway is currently in the midst of a duplication that is causing problems.
NRMA Motoring & Services President Kyle Loades explained that the Association is going to keep a close eye on the project since the government postponed its completion from 2016 to 2020 recently.
“While the full duplication of the Pacific Highway should remain the priority, with the population of the Coffs Harbour is set to double in the next 20 years, we should also be looking towards ways we can ease the congestion for locals – such as building a bypass,” he said.
Pennant Hills and Parramatta Roads problems
It is interesting to note that these two roads also have a rich history of appearing on the worst top ten list. Over the past four years, more than 47,000 people have consistently voted for these roads, as well as both the M4 and M5 motorways.
In these cases, respondents noted the congestion problems and the overwhelming need for the planned NorthConnex and WestConnex motorways.
Mr Loades said this infrastructure is still a number of years away so believes authorities should be doing more in the interim.
“There are more than 200 truck breakdowns each year along Pennant Hills Road and this not only needs to be taken into account in the project design for NorthConnex, but it also means we need enhanced incident response capacity in the short-term,” he explained.
He also suggested street parking in certain areas such as Five Dock should be removed to avoid bottlenecks from blocking up the road.
Need for technology?
If there is limited parking options along these roads, the NRMA thinks motorists should have access to the latest information. This can be achieved through electronic messaging signs and smartphone applications which would free up congestion and traffic issues in the area.
The NRMA analysed where the the majority of respondents lived to determine roughly what suburbs have the worst roads in the states. According to the figures, residents of Concord, Pennant Hills and Mosman feel most frustrated with their local infrastructure.
NRMA’s top five worst roads in NSW/ACT
1. Pacific Highway (Coffs Harbour)
2. Pennant Hills Road (Pennant Hills)
3. Parramatta Road (Concord)
4. Princes Highway (Albion Park)
5. Barton Highway (Murrumbateman)
NRMA’s top five suburbs with the worst roads
2. Pennant Hills
4. Albion Park