It’s unclear just how bad an M1 Princes Motorway accident needs to be before Bulli Pass is reopened.
Since the pass closed on August 28 for the second stage of rockfall fencing installation, it has not had to reopen following an accident.
However, in that time there have been at least two accidents on the motorway that caused problems for traffic.
A three-car accident on Mt Ousley in September led to southbound traffic queues of at least five kilometres during the morning peak.
Despite those long queues, that accident – which ended up being cleared in about an hour – was apparently not bad enough to warrant the reopening of the pass.
So what are the parameters that push Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to reopen Bulli Pass?
Is it the length of the traffic banking up? The severity of the accident? Or the estimated time needed clear the site?
When asked this, an RMS spokesman declined to talk in specifics.
“Roads and Maritime Services will rely on advice from the Transport Management Centre when responding to any traffic incidents on the M1 Princes Motorway to minimise delays to motorists and ensure the network operates as smoothly as possible,” the spokesman said.
There were “detailed traffic management and emergency plans” in place, the spokesman said.
“Improvements to plans for this year’s closure include working with emergency services to minimise response times to incidents and ensuring detours operate smoothly to reduce congestion and keep traffic moving during emergencies,” he said.
Should the pass need to be reopened after an accident, the spokesman said the time it would take will vary.
“The time to re-open Bulli Pass during emergency events is dependent upon the work being carried, equipment on site and ensuring the road is safe to open to traffic,” the spokesman said.