Newcastle Road speed limit: signs leave drivers confused, Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery claims

CONTRADICTORY speed limit signs along one of Newcastle’s major thoroughfares has sparked “chaos”, Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery claims. 

Ms Hornery said changes to speed limits along Newcastle Road, Griffiths Road and Wallsend’s Thomas Street were less than clear as signs showing the old speed limit, 70km/hr, remained in place. 

She said any fines handed out before those signs came down should be torn up. 

“The Roads and Maritime Service have stuffed this up from the start,” she said. “Not only have they not been telling people what the new speed limit will be for the last 10 days on their visual message boards, they still haven’t been able to replace all the 70km/h speed limit signs.”

“There are 2 speed cameras along that stretch of road and motorists are concerned about potentially being fined, despite travelling at the speed that was signposted.”

Ms Hornery, who has been seeking information on the rationale for changing the speed limit, said she was yet to receive any details. 

“This is not good enough,” she said. “If they think that by ignoring me I will eventually get tired or just go away, they are sadly mistaken.”

Roads and Maritime Services said a speed limit review with Newcastle police and the council covered “crash history, road geometry, road environment, traffic volumes and the number of access points”. 

The speed limit would come into effect “once all the signs are installed by the end of this week”. 

The spokesman said there had been 382 crashes between 2011 and 2016 on the road. 

“The injury crash rate per kilometre is almost five times higher than the typical rate for an urban arterial road with a 70km/h speed limit,” he said. 

“The very high traffic volumes, high number of driveways and intersections, the hilly road alignment and limited sight lines to traffic queued at intersections have contributed to a high number of crashes.”