With more people packing the car for a trip away this Easter long weekend, Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore, is urging motorists to stay safe on the roads through Singleton - particularly the already congested New England Highway.
Cr Moore has got behind calls from police and the NSW Government for drivers to put safety first following an alarming rise in the number of fatalities and serious injuries on the NSW road network, including 392 deaths in 2017.
“We don’t want to see any tragedies on Singleton roads at any time of the year, and especially at a time when people are taking a well-earned break to be with family and friends,” she said.
“One death on any road is too many, and with statistics showing about 70% of all 2017 fatalities occurred on country roads, we want people to remember their time in Singleton for the right reasons.
“But those statistics aren’t limited to travellers. It’s equally important that people staying at home for the long weekend remember that accidents happen on short trips too and we all need to take care every time we get in the car.”
Cr Moore said as a gateway on the New England Highway between the Lower Hunter and Sydney, and northwards to the Queensland border, Singleton is a significant port for many Easter travellers.
Roads and Maritime Services has identified a preferred option for a future New England Highway bypass of Singleton and allocated $3 million in 2017/2018 to progress planning works.
The bypass wold relieve traffic congestion, improve travel times and reduce the impact on the local community, including the safety risks associated with heavy traffic.
“It’s important to remind people that the highway narrows to one lane through Singleton in a built-up local area and I urge drivers to slow down and drive to the conditions,” Cr Moore said.
“And with heavy vehicles already regular users of the highway and increased traffic because of the holiday period, we all need to be extra careful.
“With a greater spotlight on the roads this weekend, it is an ideal time for NSW Roads Minister, Melinda Pavey to bring out the Singleton bypass file and consider how the project would benefit the entire NSW road network - and the people who use it - during peak periods such as Christmas and Easter.”
In the meantime, Cr Moore repeated advice from the police and the NSW Government for motorists to take steps to keep safe on the roads, including:
“Easter is a great time of year to jump in the car with family and friends and I encourage anyone who’s on our roads, whether you’re staying local or getting away, to make a special effort to make sure it’s enjoyable for everyone,” she said.