Bid to increase speed limit divides village

Bid to increase speed limit divides village

SPEED SPLIT: Kerry Condon from Darcy’s Old Wares has labelled a move to increase the speed limit through Lucknow to 60km/h as “ludicrous”. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0305speedA MOVE by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to increase the speed limit through Lucknow to 60km/h has been slammed by a business owner who believes pedestrians would be put at risk by the “ludicrous” proposal.

The increase has divided residents and businesses in the village who say they have been kept in the dark, with only one resident aware of the proposal when contacted by the Central Western Daily.

RMS earmarked the 1.2km stretch of the Mitchell Highway for a speed limit increase following a review of roads across the state, according to documents obtained by the CWD.

Kerry Condon from Darcy’s Old Wares says few drivers stick to the current 50km/h limit.

“If the speed limit is 50 they do 60 and if it’s 60 they’ll do 70,” he said.

“Anyone who visits Lucknow walks across the road.”

The Mitchell Highway came in at number 25 on a list of 100 roads for review, receiving 15 submissions, nine regarding Lucknow’s speed limit.

RMS will continue discussions with Orange City Council and the eight submissions in favour of a speed limit increase, a spokesperson said.

“The reviews are carried out in accordance with the NSW speed zoning guidelines and assess a number of factors including road environment, traffic characteristics and crash profiles,” the spokesperson said.

Orange City Council was only notified of the proposal last week, according to corporate and community relations manager Nick Redmond, with councillors wanting to keep the 50km/h speed limit for the safety of residents.

“It wouldn’t have a big impact on trip times and … it would create confusion,” he said.

“One of the issues we had was the broader Lucknow community didn’t have the opportunity to voice their opinion.”

Mr Condon says he often sees pedestrians involved in near-misses with vehicles and is concerned about the dangers for children crossing the road from school buses.

“If they’re going to up the ante in Lucknow why don’t they up the ante in Orange?” he said.

“People in Lucknow are just as important as the people in Orange.”

But resident Laurie Chapman disagreed, saying he rarely saw pedestrians cross the busy highway.

“Lucknow is a very small village … there are bus stops on both sides,” he said.

“Bathurst has 60 on its highway.”

Helen Livingstone from 2 Fat Ladies agreed.

“I like it at 50 because it slows people down for my business … but I’m quite happy for it to be 60,” she said.

“Driving myself, I think it’s a more reasonable speed.”

Resident Bruce Heinrich said the speed limit debate had been ongoing.

“In the past people have said we need a pedestrian crossing,” he said.

“But I think 50 km/h is quite OK.”

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