Highway to hell: Toowoomba's number one crash zone

THE New England is Toowoomba's highway to hell.

With 984 smashes between 2001 and 2013, the major arterial is the region's number one crash zone.

An analysis of Queensland Government accident data showed there were 9976 crashes in the Toowoomba Regional Council area over the 13 years.

Rounding out the top five danger zones are the Warrego Hwy with 827 crashes; the Gore Hwy with 442; Bridge St with 402; and Alderley St with 279.

Road conditions play a major part in the severity of crashes and authorities are committing millions of dollars to fix any problems.

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The Queensland Government will spend $13,195,762 across the Main Roads Darling Downs region - which covers the Southern Downs, Goondiwindi, Toowoomba and Western Downs council areas - under the Safer Roads Sooner program over three years.

Toowoomba Regional Council set aside $45 million to improve the area's road and drainage network and $22.5 million to complete the city's outer circulating road project in this year's budget.

The council is also working on the $21.06 million first stage of the O'Mara Rd upgrade.

The Federal Government's Black Spot Funding program contribution to the region of $1,951,686 does not cover the top five danger zones.

The 2014-15 Black Spot projects will be new traffic lights at the intersection of Hursley Rd and Boundary St; a roundabout at the intersection of South and Rowbotham streets; curve and shoulder works an well as new signs along Goombungee-Meringandan Rd; hazard removal on Woolmer Rd; advance warning signs at the Anzac Ave and Hursley Rd approaches; and works on Long St.

Is the New England Highway the most dangerous road in the Toowoomba region?

This poll ended on 10 June 2015.

Current Results

Yes

51%

No

48%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Council Infrastructure Services Committee chairwoman Carol Taylor said Black Spot funding decisions were based on a range of factors.

"Funding is split evenly between urban and rural sites and applies for the life of the current program from 2014 to 2019," Cr Taylor said.

"Black Spot site selection is based on capital improvements that are shown to mitigate risks at selected sites.

"This is teamed with crash types for the locations.

"Potential sites are identified by assessing the most recent five-year crash statistics and data."

RACQ senior road safety advisor Joel Tucker said improving roads could mean the difference between life and death for some crash victims.

"Driver behaviour is up to the individual and road authorities do not have direct control of this.

"All the motoring clubs are saying 'Get your roads in order'.

"If you build a good road today, it will be there tomorrow and it's going to be there 20 or 30 years before it needs too much work."

A representative for the State's Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said $350m would be spent on safety improvements along major arterials by 2020.

"The Queensland Government remains committed to working with the Federal Government in delivering $350 million in jointly funded safety improvements on the Bruce Hwy, between Brisbane and Cairns and $40 million on the Warrego Hwy, between Toowoomba and Miles over the next five years," the representative said.

- APN NEWSDESK,



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