Suburban road is now a ‘rat run’

RAT RUN: New Mt Pleasant Road resident Tony Pearce (left) explains the problems with speeding drivers along the road to Keira MP Ryan Park and Wollongong City councillor David Brown. Picture: Robert Peet

RAT RUN: New Mt Pleasant Road resident Tony Pearce (left) explains the problems with speeding drivers along the road to Keira MP Ryan Park and Wollongong City councillor David Brown. Picture: Robert Peet

New Mt Pleasant Road residents want something done about the speeding motorists that have turned the street into a “rat run”.

The steep road links up with the M1 Princes Motorway at the top of the final hill into Wollongong.

Residents said southbound drivers are coming off the M1 and using their street as a short cut into the northern suburbs.

“They’re quite often doing 80km/h going past my house on a regular basis,” said resident Tony Pearce.

“There’s a lot more traffic that comes down here, especially when we have accidents on the freeway up there, because they all use this as an alternate road.”

With the closure of Bulli Pass to install further rock fall fencing taking place later this month, Mr Pearce said he expected even more traffic to flow off the motorway and into the street, where the speed limit is just 50km/h.

Mr Pearce and the other residents weren’t looking to stop cars from coming off the motorway; they just wanted them to slow down and stick to the speed limit.

“The street’s not owned by me, the street is for everyone’s use, if they abide by the rules,” he said.

“I don’t think there are [speed limit] signs anywhere along this road. I know it’s a suburban street but I think people coming off the expressway forget that and it takes them a while to slow down.”

Keira MP Ryan Park said residents had contacted him about the issue of speeding drivers.

“It’s become a rat run for people trying to get back to the north,” he said.

“It will be further exacerbated when Bulli Pass is shut down for a few months.”

Mr Park said he had approached the police about extra patrols along the street, particularly near the intersection with the motorway.

In terms of signage he suggested it could be a combined approach from Wollongong City Council and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

Wollongong City Councillor David Brown said he had written to council about the residents’ concerns and suggested installing 50km/h signs would not be difficult.

“Signage isn’t a huge cost, it’s just a matter of getting it in the right places to give the effect you want,” Cr Brown said.

“It shouldn’t be an issue. It’s just a matter of finding a few extra dollars and the right place for the signs.”

An RMS spokeswoman said an electronic message sign will be installed on the road next week to display vehicles’ speed and prompting drivers to slow down.

The sign will be in place during the Bulli Pass closure and motorists will be directed to detour via the M1 Princes Motorway, Memorial Drive and Lawrence Hargrave Drive.

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