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Labor to duplicate Barton Highway

Ian Bushnell 28 April 2019 42

A sign urging Barton Highway drivers to stick to the speed limit along the notorious stretch of road. Photo: Yass Valley Shire Council.

Labor has committed to duplicating the Barton Highway between the NSW/ACT border and Murrumbateman, in a $250 million election pledge that trumps the Coalition by $100 million.

In a joint statement, Opposition infrastructure and transport spokesperson Anthony Albanese and Member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly said full duplication would improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion on a notorious stretch of road that is used by 12,500 vehicles a day, including about 1000 trucks.

The Barton Highway links the southern and western areas of NSW to the ACT, running 52 kilometres between Canberra and the Hume Highway, near Yass, and is a vital commuter link between the Yass Valley and the national capital.

“Increasing traffic volumes have led to increasing levels of traffic accidents on the highway, so a Shorten Labor Government would work with the New South Wales Government to expedite the duplication in the interests of road safety,” the pair said.

They said the project would also boost productivity by facilitating quicker movement of road freight around the region.

The pair said average annual investment in the Barton Highway had fallen from $5.4 million under the former Federal Labor Government to $1.7 million under the Coalition.

“The chaotic Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has cut road investment in regional Australia and attempted to conceal the cuts with promises of investment that it has pushed off into the never-never,” they said.

“There is no better example of the unfair cuts inflicted by the Liberal and National Parties than the Barton Highway.

“Only a Shorten Labor Government can be relied upon to invest in the road infrastructure regional Australia needs to not only boost productivity and drive economic development, but also to deliver safe driving conditions for motorists, truck drivers and other road users.”

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42 Responses to
Labor to duplicate Barton Highway
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11:04 pm 28 Apr 19

I voted for a Dragway 🏁

7:06 pm 28 Apr 19

What for ...?

6:42 pm 28 Apr 19

I could not see any dates 🤔

6:18 pm 28 Apr 19

Then I will put ALP as second...

6:09 pm 28 Apr 19

Promises promises wouldn't get a root if they owned a brothel

5:53 pm 28 Apr 19

This was promised years ago!😞

5:44 pm 28 Apr 19

Promise this promise that

5:41 pm 28 Apr 19

Use the $498 million gifted to Nelson to turn the AWM into a Disney Park

Grimm 5:32 pm 28 Apr 19

Wouldn’t be congested if people just did the speed limit, rather than 20 under and creating a 2km long traffic jam behind them. See it pretty much every time I get on that road. The safety issues are people taking risks to get past these idiots. If the police start fining these rolling road nuisances regularly, you would see an immediate improvement in traffic flow.

    JC 12:47 pm 29 Apr 19

    If you are talking about congestion then in actual fact if everyone went 80km/h you would be able to fit more vehicles on the road safely compared to going 100km/h.

    By safe I mean by maintaining the recommended safe gap for the speed. At 100km/h that distance is far greater than 80km/h which means less vehicles can use that stretch of road at any given time.

    Logic would suggest the higher speed would get more vehicles through but do the maths and it is the other way around!

    In some counties they have variable speed limits that lower the speed limits in the peak times for this very reason.

5:27 pm 28 Apr 19

What happened to the supposed committed of using the old railway to cooma being made as a designated cyclist express lane? Nothing happened, that's what.. just like this

    5:32 pm 28 Apr 19

    That was a private group lobbying for that. Just like another private group is lobbying to reopen the railway and extend to Eden.

    5:54 pm 28 Apr 19

    Thanks for clarifying Justin...this is hardly an election commitment! (Although, train station car parks are so perhaps the parties need to hear about it!)

    6:23 pm 28 Apr 19

    Still was "backed" by Gov campaign funding

5:07 pm 28 Apr 19

Shayne Borger a tram is the answer with no bike lanes, Northbourne Ave is way of the future. Keep the bikes on the footpaths

4:59 pm 28 Apr 19

What century?

4:53 pm 28 Apr 19

Who writes this rubbish..... like a light bulb has just enlightened the politicians.... well of course it’s going to improve road safety and reduce congestion.... it’s probably been an election issue for the last 20-25 years as well.... why isn’t the tonnes of fill leaving the ACT being used to start building the roads already.... must be another election on hey.... it’s probably more like a 6-800 million dollar project realistically so wouldn’t be holding your breath...

Gilavon 4:52 pm 28 Apr 19

Trevor Watson I like you, you’re wicked. Love the idea of all the faux Tuscan style villas that could line the highway.

wildturkeycanoe 4:32 pm 28 Apr 19

12,500 vehicles a day and they think it needs duplication? William Hovell drive has 60,000 vehicles a day and they just added another set of lights, with thousands more cars to come with Molonglo expansion and west Belco growing. We still only have one lane from Higgins to Coulter Drive, making a worse peak hour than Yass residents will ever know. But I guess the Feds need to target the NSW side of the border as Canberrans apparently love Labor already (I can’t see why though).

4:28 pm 28 Apr 19

While you're duplicating the Barton extend the light rail to Yass then trillions can be made building high rise adjacent to the track. That will finance it and let your big corporates make money.

4:06 pm 28 Apr 19

Over what timeframe, and how much is “new money”.

3:59 pm 28 Apr 19

But how shall we fund it dear Bill?

    4:19 pm 28 Apr 19

    by not paying LNP mates millions of dollars in dodgy deals. Lets see $488 million for some dodgy reef fund, $80 million for buying back water that didn't exist, $180 million to reopen and close Christmas island detention centre. Was it $160 million for the same sex marriage survey, that got the exact same result, poll after poll was saying. Theres a lot of taxpayer dollars thrown around and wasted recently, so instead of wasting that Billion dollars I just listed we could spend it on infrastructure projects.

    4:31 pm 28 Apr 19

    Justin Watson Australia is not broke by any means. Atleast until the liberals privatise everything. They scare us into thinking we are not insanely well off per capita.

    4:48 pm 28 Apr 19

    perhaps if they actually used our tax dollars for funding services and infrastructure instead of always offering piddly small tax breaks it wouldn’t be a problem of funding

    5:34 pm 28 Apr 19

    Zac Norman Yes because they don't want to spend tax dollars on infrastructure, so they can personally pay less tax, their donors want all the wealth but pay no tax.

    8:09 pm 28 Apr 19

    Just slug the self funded retirees is what silly billy wants to do so they will then have to get the age pension

3:52 pm 28 Apr 19

Hi there the last 20 years. 🤣

3:51 pm 28 Apr 19

So why hasn’t the ACT Labor/Greens not built this with the NSW Government ?? It’s not a Federal issue, it’s a local problem.

    4:21 pm 28 Apr 19

    They've duplicated to the border. Same reason why kings highway lacks funding, because its a NSW road that benefits the ACT. Its a federal issue because its more than one governments responsibility.

    4:28 pm 28 Apr 19

    Justin Watson and it’s a federal Hwy.

    4:39 pm 28 Apr 19

    well maybe local governments need to work together and forget the federal government

    5:37 pm 28 Apr 19

    Lucas Anasdow The governments do need to work together that's for sure, but they'll all fight over who gets the credit for doing it, if and when it is done. It is the stupidity of the political system these days. Plus as mentioned there are probably funding rules around federal highways as well, although I doubt the federal government would care if the NSW and ACT government committed funding to it. They do work together on a lot of issues, like how is health and education funded for interstate users of the ACT system (and vice versa to a lesser extent). But these big federal highways, no one wants to pay for.

    8:11 pm 28 Apr 19

    Lucas - some of the government's can't even work together within their own patch (without swapping leaders every other years)... I think inter-government cooperation might be a wee bit much to ask

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