In response to a request from the local community, Transport for NSW has recently completed a speed zone review on Houghlahans Creek Road to consider the appropriateness of the existing 100 km/h speed limit. This review has been completed in accordance with the NSW Speed Zoning Guidelines.
Please note the default speed limit of 100 km/h currently applies on the basis that this road has not previously been subject to a formal speed zone assessment. Whilst technically the 100 km/h limit applies, there are no existing speed signs and average actual vehicle speeds are considered to be well below this limit. It is considered unlikely that the regular users of this road have an expectation that they can drive at 100 km/h.
I am pleased to confirm that the review has resulted in a reduction of the existing speed limit as follows:
- To reduce the existing 100 km/h default speed limit on Houghlahans Creek Rd from Eltham Road to 500 m south of Tooheys Mill Road (a distance of 2.8 km) to 80 km/h and
- To reduce the existing 100 km/h default speed limit from 500 m south of Tooheys Mill Road to Tintenbar Road (a distance of 6.2 km) to 60 km/h.
The key reasons for the changes are:
- At present the Houghlahans Creek Road is a default 100 km/h speed limit with no speed limit signs currently installed.
- The northern section of Houghlahans Creek Road (from Eltham Road to 500 m south of Tooheys Mill Road) is an open rural road with pavement widths between 5.0 and 6.0m, this section meets the warrants for an 80 km/h speed limit.
- The southern section (from 500 m south of Tooheys Mill Road to Tintenbar Road) becomes narrow and winding with three causeways and one culvert that requires vehicles to slow or give way when passing oncoming vehicles. This section also provides access to numerous rural residential properties and includes a 2 km section of gravel road thus making it unsuitable for a higher speed limit.
The change in speed zone will add around 2 minutes and 52 seconds of additional travel time based on a vehicle travelling at 100 km/h, however as noted above it is considered that no vehicles are currently travelling at the maximum 100 km/h speed limit.
Ballina Shire and Lismore City Council staff have been advised of the review and support the recommendation.