Bussell Highway claims another serious accident

The stretch of Bussell Highway between Capel and Busselton was the scene of another serious accident which saw three people taken to hospital after a truck and car collided on Wednesday morning.

Less than two months ago the dangerous stretch of road claimed the life of a 20-year old man who was killed when a vehicle crossed to the incorrect side of the road and collided with his car.

The single-lanes highway has repeatedly been named by the RAC as one of the riskiest roads in regional WA noting narrow lanes, bridges and lack of overtaking opportunities as risks for commuters.

On average, 14,000 vehicles use the road each day, and has been the scene of 134 crashes between January 2013 and December 2017, including four fatalities and 15 hospitalisations, as revealed in WA Parliament.

Despite the shocking statistics the project to dual the carriageway between Capel and Busselton remains unfunded and is not listed as a priority project by the state government.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the state government recognised the importance of this stretch of highway and would consider the project in future budget processes.

Ms Saffioti said the state government would also lobby the federal government for funding. 

In the interim, Main Roads has been working on plans for the duplication of Bussell Highway between Capel and Sabina should the construction funding become available.

Main Roads spokesperson Dean Roberts said while the project was listed on their delivery plan it was dependent on funding being allocated which did not imply priority or certainty of delivery.

Main Roads has undertaken recent work on road and bridge designs, environmental and heritage surveys and have cleared between Capel and Hutton Road near the Tuart Drive intersection.

Mr Roberts said clearing work between Ludlow and Busselton were subject to environmental approvals which could take up to 12 months to acquire.

“Main Roads will continue to seek funding for construction of the dual carriageway through future state and federal budgetary processes,” he said.

“Preliminary estimates are in the order of $70 million and it is estimated that the construction works will take approximately 2-3 years to complete.”

The RAC have opened their fifth Risky Roads campaign to the public who again have an opportunity to nominate dangerous roads and intersections around WA.

RAC general manager corporate affairs Will Golsby said Risky Roads was WA’s largest road infrastructure survey and gave people the opportunity to voice their concerns and create positive change.

“There is more than 187,000 kilometres of road in WA and no one knows those roads better than the people who drive, ride, cycle or walk on them every day,” Mr Golsby said.

“Nominations are encouraged from all corners of the State, so whether a local street or major highway, if you know a road that’s unsafe don’t just avoid it, nominate it.”

Since the 2016 Risky Roads Survey, more than half of the top 20 riskiest roads and intersections identified have had funding allocated to improve road safety. 

“The survey takes only a few minutes to complete and history shows the voice of the community and the results from the campaign can lead to genuine change,” Mr Golsby said.

“WA consistently ranks as one of the nation’s worst when it comes to road fatalities and serious injuries. 

“Last year 161 people were tragically killed on WA roads and many more were seriously injured.

“Every life lost on our roads is one too many which is why we’re calling on the WA community to nominate dangerous roads and intersections, so we can advocate for change and ultimately save lives and prevent serious injuries.”

To participate, visit rac.com.au/riskyroads or request a nomination form by calling RAC on 9436 4598.  Nominations close 17 December 2018.