2019 RAC Risky Roads Survey | Bussell Highway named WA's riskiest regional road

Bussell Highway stretch between Capel and Busselton has been named WA's riskiest regional road in the 2019 RAC Risky Roads Survey.
Bussell Highway stretch between Capel and Busselton has been named WA's riskiest regional road in the 2019 RAC Risky Roads Survey.

The stretch of Bussell Highway between Capel and Busselton has been named WA's riskiest regional road in the RAC Risky Roads survey.

The notorious stretch of road topped the results as the most dangerous road in regional WA, with motorists raising concerns over a lack of overtaking opportunities, narrow lanes and poor traffic separation.

Kaloorup Road in Jindong was named the seventh riskiest road in regional WA for its tight curves, blind crests, poor road surface and narrow lanes.

Four intersections in Busselton, Dunsborough and Capel were also featured in the survey as some of the riskiest intersections in regional WA.

The Bussell Highway and Somerville Drive in College Grove ranked second for its little chance to turn or cross traffic, area requires lights or a roundabout and the speed limit was too high.

Cyrillean Way and Dunn Bay Road in Dunsborough ranked third for its little chance to run or cross traffic, confusing layout, and its unsafe pedestrian crossing.

The interesction at Bussell Highway and Tuart Drive in Capel ranked fifth for its little chance to turn or cross traffic, there was no median strip to seperate traffic and lacked overtaking opportunities.

Ranked tenth was the intersection at Bussell Highway and King Street because it required traffic lights or a roundabout, there was little chance to turn or cross traffic and was unsafe for pedestrians to cross.

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RAC general manager corporate affairs Will Golsby said the survey received more than 6,000 nominations from all over the State.

"No one knows our roads better than the people who drive, ride, cycle or walk on them every day," he said.

"RAC's Risky Roads survey empowers Western Australians to voice their concerns about dangerous roads and intersections, so we can work together with the relevant authorities to have them fixed and to ultimately save lives.

"Thank you to the RAC members and those in the wider community who took the time to submit a nomination."

In 2018, WA had the worst road fatality rate of any mainland state in Australia.

"WA has one of the worst road safety records in the nation and these latest results further highlight the urgent need for funding to repair and upgrade our roads," he said.

"If WA was simply in line with the national average, more than 40 Western Australian lives would have been saved last year. If we had matched Victoria's rate, we would have almost halved our 2018 road toll.

"Many crashes which result in death or serious injury could be avoided through low-cost safety treatments, including sealing shoulders and installing audible edge lines.

"We have a real opportunity to reverse the overwhelming and unacceptable level of road trauma in WA.

"With a road fatality rate six times higher than Perth, nowhere is the devastation more apparent than regional WA, which is why RAC is calling for an $800 million regional road safety package to be delivered over the next 10 years."

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said given this stretch of Bussell Highway tops RAC's regional road list, she called on the government to listen to the independent advice being offered and dual this road to reduce the incidence and severity of crashes.

"The regional road fatality rate is six times higher than Perth and it is essential that regional roads are seen as a priority by this State Government," she said.

"I have received a letter from the Minister outlining the preloading works that need to be undertaken along this stretch of road.

"However it is unclear when those works will take place or whether there has been any funding committed to those works.

"I will be looking forward to seeing what commitments will be made as part of the upcoming state budget to this important road project."

Transport minister Rita Saffioti said they were disappointed the federal government had not yet committed any funding towards upgrade of Bussell Highway between Capel and Busselton.

"The state government understands the keenness from the South West community to get the Bussell Highway upgrade underway, and we are currently considering our options for the upgrade," she said.

However, Forrest MP Nola Marino previously told the Mail her hands were tied unless the state government made the project a priority.

"I've been fighting to upgrade the Bussell Highway for many years," she said.

"The federal government funds major roads that are a priority of the state government.

"I've written to the WA Transport Minister asking her to prioritise this project. Unfortunately this project isn't a priority of the state government."