Best and worst roads in OZ - by state.

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 14:43
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I reckon by far the best roads and road system would have to be WA. So easy to get around Perth and around the state. Pretty good model for others to follow I think.

I believe NT is supposed to have the best, but that would probably be because of the distances involved and the amount of traffic.

SA just plays catch up; unfortunately, they haven't managed to catch up yet. They're currently upgrading the one way southern freeway, (that's right: a one way freeway). In true form, nobody has looked at the bottleneck where the freeway ends!.

The other states are pretty much on a par I think, except for NSW: abysmal.!
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Reply By: The Greta Bunyip - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 15:38

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 15:38
Have been all over the country, NSW worst, Qld a close second then daylight to the others.

For example:
Back in the mid 80's we used to travel from Melbourne up to Bathurst for the car racing each October. The first year I went there was a stretch of road on the Olympic Way near Carcoar being repaired. A year later roadworks had still not been finished. The third year it had finally been completed yet & in the fourth year it was already full of potholes!
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Follow Up By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 16:07

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 16:07
Gday
That all depends on the design engineer and what he was payed to do...
Muzbry
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 16:31

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 16:31
Tony

I think you overrate WA Roads. Although with your convey of 23ft vans and most of the traffic behind you, Perth drivers wouldn't have bothered you at all.

Most of the freeways are only 2 lanes and clog up in peak hour, and a good number all end with traffic lights, go figure.

The major 2ndry highways are highways only because there are traffic lights on them so they don't qualify for freeway status.

I was in Melb last year and I thought the roads there were better than here.

Some of the country roads are pretty shocking, havent driven east for awhile but last time the SA side was better than WA.

I suppose it just depends on the spending cycle.

Alan
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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 19:06

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 19:06
Perth is known as the City of Lights apparently .....damn traffic lights. It appears to be the only solution to every junction where someone may have to wait a couple of minutes to get out.
Then commercial interests are allowed to pay for lights to be erected right outside of shopping centres obviously to increase a bit of impulse buying.
This is of particular annoyance when there is sometimes a roundabout a few hundred metres away, as the arrival of a large group of vehicles all arriving at the roundabout at the same time completely stuffs it's function.
Same thing happens with the so called freeways, traffic is held up until there is a large block of vehicles at the lights then it all tries to merge onto the freeway at the same time.
And we all know how good Perth drivers are at merging.:-)
But what would the planners care about that? They've got the job and rarely come out of their offices to see the problems they cause.
AlanH.
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 11:31

Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 11:31
Alan, you are right about roundabouts. They work when the traffic is light, but if there is a constant stream of traffic from one direction its hard to break in, even if you actually entered the roundabout before the cars in the stream. As in Perth, roundabouts and lights in Canberra can be purchased if you have enough cash/clout (cf McDonalds in Fyshwick).

Bob
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 18:16

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 18:16
Gday Tony,
You mentioned SA and these things do go in cycles.
In the early 1980's I made the move from NSW to SA. The SA roads were magnificent - best in the country - the Dunstan Govt did a great job. Then nothing gets done for ages. In the 1990's SA went broke, and we have a one way southern freeway as a reminder. But, as you say, that is getting fixed now. I have to say that the new roadworks in SA (South Rd etc) are great. I live close to town and when I head north, in no time I am on 90-100kph roads.

But why should people drive to work in cities? Most should be on public transport or riding a bike or walking. Many are too fat or lazy to do so. Melbournians are better at it - they use their public transport well. SA is still great. It's possible to bike to work from any part of town - in my case I ride along the Torrens "river" to North Adelaide so never ride on roads and its 16 minutes to work and no parking or traffic hassles - bliss!

No matter where you live there is good and bad.
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 18:20

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 18:20
I have a sister down there who hates it when I bait her about the "Freeway". IT's NOT A FREEWAY, IT'S AN EXPRESSWAY. Caps on as that's how loud she replies.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 18:59

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 18:59
hehehe, yeah a 60/80/40/25/60/80/60 kph expressway :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 19:03

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 19:03
Has it got that bad now. Not even a short 100 zone?
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 19:18

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 19:18
Phil, with all the unfinished roadworks in SA at the moment, the "paddlepop men" rule!
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Follow Up By: Steve D1 - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 08:49

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 08:49
Why don't people use public transport in cities? because it's crap.
My own example. ( Sydney )
Kellyville to Pennant Hills. ( which involves P/Hills road, THE worst road in the country).
Driving, 15 mins each way. $20 per week fuel.
Bus from the end of my street to Castle Hill. Wait 45 mins for connecting bus to Pennant Hills. Total trip = 1.5 hours, each way, and $60 ticket.
Unlike other cities here and abroad, it's considered two trips, not one. With that sort of pricing structure, why would anyone do that?

Steve
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Follow Up By: Steve D1 - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 08:53

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 08:53
Add to that, the new billion $ rail link, Rouse Hill to Epping won't help.
Trains stop @ Epping. Why? New trains run on a different gauge track. Brilliant work by planning dept.

Steve
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Follow Up By: Tony H15 - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 13:44

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 13:44
I have a seniors card so I can travel public transport (I'm sure Wabbott and Cockey have their eyes on that lot though), if I didn't, no way would I travel public transport, too many areas a bus or train don't go, too time consuming and far, far too expensive.
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Reply By: Tony H15 - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:15

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:15
I lived in Blakeview back in the mid 90s, the road system was great then, mostly due to the low traffic numbers I think. Moved interstate in the late 90s and returned again four years ago, what a difference. The population has exploded, but the roads remain much the same. The only difference I think was that ridiculous southern expressway, what a load of rubbish.
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Reply By: Tony H15 - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:35

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:35
I'm Perth born and raised but moved away in 1975, I remember the roads as being quite good, but it was a different time with different attitudes and people too were different back then. When I moved back there in 2000 the Perth I knew was gone (along with the people), I loved the expressways and freeways - so easy to get around.
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Reply By: Erad - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 09:12

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 09:12
I have travelled around the block 3 times now, and have noted that the best roads are found in the states with the least population, eg WA has excellent main roads but absolutely huge distances to cover. Qld is similar. Tasmania is excellent, considering the minute number of people and the difficult terrain. NSW introduced a 3x3 levy years ago (3 cents/litre for 3 years). It was increased to 6 cents but the 3 years bit was forgotten. NSW has the highest population, yet absolutely the worst main roads of any of the states.

I am talking of country roads here, but considering the city arterial roads, sadly NSW fails again. They have had 4 lanes (2 inbound and 2 outbound) on all their main arterial roads, even the new ones for years, and are only now starting to add extra lanes in a few places (and what chaos that creates!). Compare that toBrisbane, which has 5 lanes to/from the Gold Coast (mind you, the Bruce Hwy north leaves a lot to be desired when it runs out of multiple lanes). What's more, you have to pay tolls to drive on most of the Sydney arterials! As if we don't pay enough in fuel taxes already. I recently drove on the M7 and M2 to bypass Sydney. The M2 bit was only a couple of km, but I was hit $3.15 for the toll. As for the M5 parking lot, I don't even go near that any more.

I live in Cooma, and to their credit, the RTA has slowly upgraded the Monaro Highway so that it has reasonable shoulders and a couple of passing lanes. But now that the snow has finally arrived, I don't go on that road unless I absolutely have to. Fifteen years ago, I used to drive against the ski traffic at weekends, and it was non-stop headlights coming towards me for 100 km - literally non-stop. In 70 km, I counted 1380 cars, and that is less than 1 second between them. Now there is a problem, because they are all moving at 100 km/h and they were all well under the 3 second rule. That happens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, as well as heavier off peak traffic at thoer times, including summer these days as people head down to the South Coast.

As stated already, we pay enough fuel taxes in NSW that we should have top class roads, but the NSW standard is way way down on every other state.
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 09:21

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 09:21
I've never driven in Tassie but I have driven in all the other states and territories.

Parts of NSW are shocking. The Kings Hwy (talk about misnomer) that runs between Canberra and Batemans Bay is lethal. But it is surpassed by The Bruce Hwy in QLD (he should have stuck to running the sheep dip) extending north from Brisbane. I think QLD's problem was that it didn't collect petrol duties until recently so was always crying poor mouth. And for socio-political reasons the main road between Brisbane and the rest of QLD to the north was a low priority, and has remained a dog track. With the weekend traffic between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast this so called highway is the most inadequate in Australia.

Canberra inherited an extravagant road system funded by the Australian taxpayers. Since self government it has gradually lapsed. Its problems are compounded by the synchronizing of traffic lights in a manner designed to interrupt the flow of traffic as much as possible, and motorists with a sense of entitlement that dictates they stick in the right lane at all times.

My opinions of the country roads in the NT, WA, western QLD, and northern SA are coloured by the fact that I am driving recreationally - they are excellent. It worries me that speed limits in built up areas of the Riverland in SA are set too high at 110 kph. Its OK for good drivers in good vehicles, but that is a small fraction of all road users.

Driving around Melbourne is a nightmare. eg the Tullamarine Freeway to the airport is a slow crawl dominated by Sudanese taxi drivers stick in the right lane. At least the trains and trams make urban commuting tolerable. They badly need a train to the airport. Victorian country roads are good, and you can mostly find a route where the chances of being asked to donate to the state's coffers are relatively low.

Given the vast distances and relatively low population, and apart from the roads mentioned above, I'd say Australia's country roads are pretty good, while urban roads and freeways are clogged with commuters (and kids being dropped off to school who should be walking) and trucks. Increasing the fuel excise would help cull some of the unnecessary traffic.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Steve - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 20:18

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 20:18
fair summary Bob - but you don't have to be Sudanese to hog the RH lane. "We" have been doing that for decades.
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 11:23

Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 11:23
Steve,

you're right of course, but when the road in front is a stream of yellow taxis they do stand out.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Steve - Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 12:27

Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 12:27
Yellow eh? The New York look in Echuca? You'll be getting skyscrapers next.

;)
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