Singleton intersection in spotlight

A 40-YEAR, unrealised road-widening plan, and no traffic "blackspot" funding are part of the history of the Singleton intersection where this week's fatal bus collision occurred.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) said the intersection of Kelso and Church streets was not in a 2010 blackspot review of the Singleton road network.

In a statement, the RMS said it helped review potential blackspot projects the council had identified on its local road network but this intersection was not included in the review.

A plan to widen Kelso Street had been adopted by the council but the work not carried out, the RMS said.

Singleton Council general manager Lindy Hyam said yesterday widening of Kelso Street had been identified by the council for 40 years.

Ms Hyam said there were no weight limits on heavy vehicles using Kelso Street.

She has previously reported traffic using Singleton's historic network of small streets, such as the intersection of Church and Kelso streets, is estimated to have increased by as much as 40 per cent over recommended carrying levels.

The expansion of the mining industry is considered to be the main cause of the increasing congestion in residential and rural areas of the local government area.

She estimated the cost of the Kelso Street widening was about $3 million to $4 million but other big components were the acquisition of private properties and repositioning of utilities, such as putting power poles underground.

"There are no designated heavy vehicle routes because no roads [in Singleton] were really suitable," Ms Hyam said.

Once-quiet streets have become heavy traffic thoroughfares, Ms Hyam said in her submission to the Federal Parliament's inquiry into Australia's fly-in fly-out workforce.

Former councillor Lyn MacBain, who lives in nearby William Street, said no one could have predicted the growth in the industrial traffic.

"We are just trying to live with it," Mrs MacBain said.

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