Council takes strong stance in Pacific Highway/Houston Mitchell Drive intersection safety solution push

Dangerous spot: There is a renewed call for action to improve safety at the Houston Mitchell Drive/Pacific Highway intersection.
Dangerous spot: There is a renewed call for action to improve safety at the Houston Mitchell Drive/Pacific Highway intersection.

The council has taken a strong stance in a push to improve safety at a dangerous highway intersection.

The Houston Mitchell Drive/Pacific Highway intersection has been the scene of serious crashes and near misses.

Mayor Peta Pinson brought the intersection safety issue before Port Macquarie-Hastings Council's meeting on Wednesday, September 23.

She said a recent serious crash made her think about how dangerous it was to exit Houston Mitchell Drive onto the Pacific Highway in a northerly direction.

The council's general manager, Jeffery Sharp, will write to Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams to seek urgent representation to Roads and Transport Minister Andrew Constance and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole, requesting immediate road safety improvements and an eventual fly-over intersection upgrade.

Councillors debated the matter for almost one hour with Cr Peter Alley putting forward an amendment, which took in a broader scope about traffic congestion at other locations, while still addressing the Houston Mitchell Drive/Pacific Highway safety issue.

The mayor followed suit with another amendment to keep the focus on the Houston Mitchell Drive/Pacific Highway intersection.

Cr Pinson's amendment led to the unanimous council decision.

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Cr Pinson gave her word to our community she would not stop advocating for our safety through the state government or the federal government, if necessary, to ensure the road in that area was kept safe and application was made to address the issue there.

She earlier told the meeting that we "have impending death on that section of road" and "it was a matter of time" given the amount of highway traffic.

Cr Geoff Hawkins said the intersection was very dangerous and it was mission critical.

Cr Alley added immediate safety improvements were needed, and in the long term, a flyover was the answer.

Cr Rob Turner said the safety improvements at the intersection had long been advocated for.

Cr Turner said he was really pleased the mayor decided to be a champion for fixing the intersection but many representations in the past had failed to result in action.

The intersection is a state government responsibility.

Mrs Williams told The Port News she continued to work closely with Transport for NSW to investigate a range of safety improvements to the intersection.

"Transport for NSW will conduct a speed zone review of the Pacific Highway to ensure that the speed is safe in the vicinity of Houston Mitchell Drive. This is expected to take about three months.

"Following ongoing discussions with Transport for NSW an investigation to explore other improvements such as warning signage and intersection changes to improve safety at the intersection will continue.

"As always I will continue to liaise with Transport for NSW on road safety issues within the Port Macquarie electorate," Mrs Williams said.

"Despite regularly meeting with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council it is disappointing that this issue was not raised with me in person rather than at a formal Council meeting."

Bonny Hills resident Peter Rodgers has raised his concerns about the intersection and speed limits with Mrs Williams.

The council noted the dangerous configuration and speed limit.

Planned growth in the Lake Cathie/Bonny Hills area is likely to increase traffic at the intersection.

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