Long term solution for Jervis Bay Rd and Princes Hwy access and safety issues

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We seek an effective solution to the access and safety issues at the Jervis Bay Rd and Princes Hwy intersection.

We celebrate the faster, smoother, safer trips to Sydney that new by-passes to the north are allowing. As the Minister promised at the opening of one new section, “more people will travel south for holidays and work bringing new prosperity to the peoples of Shoalhaven and the South Coast.”

The Jervis Bay Rd and Princes Highway intersection is:

  1. The closest entrance to the highway for Bay and Basin residents to access regional services based in Nowra (health and medical facilities, Local government and State government services, economic and financial services, higher education);
  2. The primary access for emergency vehicles, public transport, tradies and commercial supply-chain goods; 
  3. The main arterial outlet for residents in times of natural disasters; and
  4. A gateway for millions of tourists to the natural beauty of Jervis Bay.

Apparently, it is no one’s responsibility amongst the planners, or decision makers to voice concerns about the unintended consequences of increased traffic which include:

  • Communities to the east of the Princes Highway being locked in by the volume of traffic heading south and treacherous access points;
  • The economic viability of people and small businesses being stifled by access delays and uncertainty;
  • Isolation of older drivers fearful of navigating the congested intersection safely; 
  • Uncertainty in the minds of high momentum transport drivers assessing the hesitant behaviour of traffic entering the highway;
  • Stress on public and school bus drivers meeting timetables and being responsible for the safety of their passengers; 
  • Outbreaks of ‘road rage’ as those with a sense of ‘right to immediate passageway’ object to confused, unsure or ultra-safe driving patterns;
  • Dislocation of the movement of personnel essential to the operations of HMAS Creswell and HMAS Albatross; 
  • Traffic merging into high-speed northern lanes, where through traffic has just been informed of lane duplication and higher speed limits;
  • More people using unsafe “rat runs” as they choose other unregulated entrances to the Highway to avoid the long queues at the Jervis Bay intersection.

These and other consequences jeopardise any potential “new prosperity”.

The greatest threat to all is the reality that every day the risk is escalating even as new upstream highway improvements and bypasses are started, and no authority is publicly addressing the issue.

We seek urgent attention to the issue.

Shoalhaven City Council unanimously passed a motion calling for action that appears to have gone unheeded by the State Government.

The Federal Government Minister says it is a State Government responsibility but there are some Commonwealth funds for which applications can be made.

We ask that appropriate authorities commit to:

  1. the need of all road users for safe and efficient passage at the intersection
  2. the modification of the right of Princes Highway traffic to create a barrier to those entering the highway from Jervis Bay Road 
  3. an ultimate ‘grade separation’ access solution ie. an overpass