10th January 2021 trips and reflectors.

Goodaye all, a busy week, four audio books completed, three round trips to Melbourne, a call from TMR Roma and hopefully some work to now update and record and maintain green reflector bays in that area, that contact was to pass on my details to Emerald district with the same purpose, make them aware and have them add some new and also maintain current sites etc.

A call to Vicroads coming out of Melbourne Friday with a list of 5 issues, saw a 20 minute wait on the phone, but then not only a very understanding, but even more, someone who was even interested in my issues, taking a list and within the hour, I had a call from one of the road engineers regarding one section. He confirmed one problem, another was in their lists of things to do, one was not and would be added, one was a previous complaint and another was out of his jurisdiction, but he would pass on.

He did say they are struggling to get the funding to do all that needs to be done and I did say I hoped he would take my complaint and use it to get more funding as being a regular user of the road and therefore someone affected by road failures, like any other road user, those using the road regularly should be listened to. I asked could I contact him with another issue that I could not immediately recall accurately where it was and therefore, they would struggle to find it.

He said, “All I can suggest is you keep ringing the 131170 number and both raising issues that affect us and then in doing so, that will be helping them to get sufficient funding to fix those things. I was not happy with the menu on the call in number, raised that issue as well and both said they would pass that on.

I am working on a complete list of bumps from Oakey to Mt Isa and have forewarned TMR, but have been told it will at the least be passed on to the relevant districts. Only waiting for Rockhampton and Toowoomba to respond now. I am still not happy with the speed zones on the Toowoomba bypass, was told by QTA they were given an undertaking they would be reviewed, but nothing has changed except now the uphill section of the viaduct was corrugating before Christmas.

A couple of new and remarked green reflector bays on the Tomingley to Narromine Road, two still to do and a couple on the Newell near Peak Hill and Wagga remarked after new guideposts put in. A number of new sites marked between Roma and Mt Isa now marked from trips before Christmas as well. I raised it again with Vicroads and it was interesting to hear that even the repair crews complained about the wire rope before it went from end to end and they have had two trucks hit as there is now nowhere safe to pull off the road and be clear of traffic.

I was told by Vicroads in July last year, there would be a trial of marking the overlap bays in the wire rope with green reflectors in September 2020,  but none has been done and they refuse to respond when I ask again and again. No wonder we struggle to comply and have doubts about how serious they are about our safety.

Many of you may be aware of the change in the roadside radar cars in NSW. I am told that not only with the removal of the warning signs, that they will be able to catch you in both directions now, previously with the signs only on one side, they could not ping you going the other way, but if you meet one travelling on the road towards you, you can get a ticket from them as well now.

In for a service in the morning, then a delivery and off to Moree and possibly Brisbane. We had a busy Christmas and others I spoke to said the same. Did you see a change from the past? I see truck sales are up, freight volumes are up and all that is good for some, yet others are still affected by Covid and changes to their work load and or need for their services. Let us all hope this new year will see things improve. Till next week, Safe Travellling, Rod Hannifey.

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