Bega Valley's worst roads?: What it takes to get safety upgrades

While some Bega Valley roads are hotspots for crashes, upgrade works have been directed elsewhere, so questions are being asked of what determines where funding is spent to improve roads. 

Last Wednesday, the second crash at the same spot in one week took place on the Cobargo-Bermagui Rd. It is also the same corner as another crash two years ago

At least two men died and others have been injured in crashes on Mount Darragh Rd in 2015 alone.  

Also, a stretch of Wallaga Lake Rd at the entrance to Bermagui has been the site of numerous crashes, including 2015 and 2016

Nearby resident Bill Campbell was one of the first on scene to a ute rollover on West Kameruka Rd on February 3, in which thankfully no-one was seriously injured.

However, Mr Campbell said it was at least the third incident in the same stretch within 12 months, one of which involved a mother with three children.

“People use it for a shortcut, it has log trucks driving along it and it's a school bus route - at 100kmh on dirt, it's absolutely stupid,” Mr Campbell said.

Mr Campbell said he believed Bega Valley Shire Council had budgeted to seal a section of West Kameruka this year, but not the series of bends that are seeing motorists coming unstuck.

However, a council spokesperson told Fairfax Media the road was graded three times a year, but there were no plans to tar it.

The number of crashes on these at-risk roads suggest they have an equal, if not greater, need for upgrades as an 800metre section of the Princes Hwy at Frogs Hollow where the NSW government recently spent $2.1million on improvements.

Two years ago, Member for Bega Andrew Constance said part of the highway was identified for an upgrade after five crashes were recorded in the five years to January 2014.

A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson said work and funding allocations across NSW are prioritised on a needs basis. Factors include crash statistics, traffic counts and development in the area.

They said recent safety improvement projects around Bega included the Frogs Hollow widening, a speed zone reduction over a 4km stretch at Wallaga Lake and a speed zone reduction on Mount Darragh Rd.

Also, a speed zone review is being carried out on the length of the Cobargo-Bermagui Rd. Sections of this road could fall under Safer Roads/Blackspot funding.

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