Speed limits to be lifted after roads investment

Progress on road speeds

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DRIVE TIME: Jarrod Phelps, Cummins, says more investment in roads is always welcomed, but it needs to produce results.

DRIVE TIME: Jarrod Phelps, Cummins, says more investment in roads is always welcomed, but it needs to produce results.

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SPEED LIMITS on two regional roads are expected to be returned to 110 kilometres an hour "within weeks", for the first time since 2017, following road work projects.

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SPEED LIMITS on two regional roads are expected to be returned to 110 kilometres an hour "within weeks", for the first time since 2017, following road work projects.

The two roads are believed to be Carpenters Rocks Road in the South East and the Goyder Highway in the Mid North.

They are among eight roads that had the speed limit dropped from 110km/hr to 100km/hr in late 2017 by the Labor government, due to safety concerns.

The Liberal government promised to repair the roads and reinstate the speed limits as part of its election commitment in early 2018.

Road works on Carpenters Rocks Road were scheduled to be completed in late 2020, but Goyder Highway had originally been expected to not have its speed limit reinstated until early 2021.

The remaining six - Andamooka, Clay Wells and Cleve roads and the Riddoch, Ngarkat and Browns Well highways - are scheduled to have works completed and speed limits returned later this year or early next year.

Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Minister Stephan Knoll said the government was "almost ready" to start reinstating the speed limits "on a number of country roads" after they were "slashed" by the former Labor government.

"The Marshall government is investing millions of dollars to fix these roads and make them safer so we can deliver on our election commitment," he said.

"There are a couple of roads that will see their speed limit reinstated to 110km/hr in the coming weeks, while others are still undergoing construction and will be a bit further off."

In March, the government announced a $120-million stimulus package for road repairs during the early COVID-19 lockdown, as well as $12m towards a North-South freight route to bypass Adelaide.

Tenders for that project went out late last month.

Mr Knoll said in late June more than 300km of country roads were being repaired at the time, with plans to upgrade more than 1000km of country roads across the next four years.

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Opposition transport and infrastructure spokesperson Tom Koutsantonis said there had been some big announcements adding up to $160m in March, and again since, with nothing particularly new.

"From what I can tell, almost none of it has been spent," he said.

"A lot of people in SA are getting very frustrated by the talk."

He said one example was the recent announcement of $10m to seal the Strezlecki Track.

"Well $10m is not going to seal it. It's probably what they spent on running repairs," he said.

"I think regional SA can see for themselves when they're driving on the roads, if they've seen any improvements."

In the first six months of 2020, 35 people have been killed on SA regional roads, compared with 42 in 2019, 31 in 2018 and 26 in 2017.

RAA Safety and Infrastructure senior manager Charles Mountain welcomed the infrastructure announcements of $52m to upgrade the Stuart, York, Dukes and Riddoch highways.

"RAA also welcomed the $55m funding to upgrade the Horrocks Highway, which is a road that RAA has lobbied for investment on this key route to the Mid North,'' he said.

Cummins resident Jarrod Phelps says despite the money being spent on roads in recent months, he has not seen any increased maintenance in his region, despite a lift in the number of trucks since the railway closure.

While he said the roads had not deteriorated with the extra traffic, they had become busier, particularly with more road trains.

Without enough overtaking lanes to compensate for this, he said trips along the Tod Highway had become longer.

"I'd rather leave earlier and just sit behind the trucks, than try and overtake," he said.

"The government talks of lot of big numbers, but what you get for that isn't much."

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