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The Kings Highway <center>

Have Your Say on the Kings Highway Review here

Review into the safety of Kings Highway has closed the community workshops. Submit your ideas by the 14th of May to have your say! KINGS HIGHWAY REOPENED FROM 1400 tonne LANDSLIDE - Keep updated by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter - Feel free to share your stories!
Saturday, June 9, 2012

Kings Highway - 12 infringements in 2 hours!

Police will be out in force from today as Operation Stay Alert kicks off for the long weekend.

Batemans Bay Highway Patrol’s Sergeant Angus Duncombe said the Kings Highway would be one of the priorities, following an operation police ran last weekend when they issued 12 traffic infringement notices within two hours.

He said one driver was speeding at 146km/h in a 90 zone, and another four were driving at 130km/h in a 90 zone.

Sgt Duncombe said driver impatience was still prevalent on the road.

“One passenger said maybe we should be booking people who are driving too slow,” he said.

“I can understand why he was in the passenger seat.”

He also warned Eurobodalla drivers that officers from Sydney would help patrol the Kings and Princes Highways this weekend, while the local highway patrol officers would be out in force.

“Obviously our focus is going to be on a highly visible presence right across the command,” he said.

Operation Stay Alert began just after midnight this morning. It will continue until midnight Monday with double demerit points in force.

Police will be watching for speeding, drink-driving and other offences, and drivers can expect to find RBTs and mobile radar cameras.

During the 2011 June long weekend four people were killed on the roads across NSW, nearly 400 drivers were charged with drink driving, and 4460 were issued with infringement notices for speeding.

Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas said drivers should focus on the basics of slowing down and driving to the road conditions.

“Police urge motorists to ‘stay alert’ and by this we mean making sure you focus on the road this weekend,” he said.

“The best news I could have as a Deputy Commissioner is that not one life has been lost on our roads this long weekend.”

He said drivers should focus on the simple tasks that were at the forefront of their minds when first getting their licence, such as taking care, slowing down, driving to the road conditions and leaving plenty of time to travel to their destination.

“We can sometimes forget what the main focus is when driving. When we start out and get our licence we are alert to what is happening while driving, what the speed limit is; and, what the weather conditions are like,” he said.

“This needs to be in the forefront of our minds with the increased number of cars on the roads over the long weekend.”

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Things come in threes.

Five days a week for six years (more during soccer season), I travelled from Bungendore to Braidwood on the Kings Highway. I have never had my life threatened 3 times within fifteen minutes on the same stretch of road before.

I’m always very careful on the 45km trip because of the road’s devastating history with motor vehicle accidents. It’s the second day of winter, and it was raining this morning as well as just being generally overcast, so my lights and wipers were on and I knew where to be cautious in the wet. My speedo never went over 100 kms/hr. I didn’t glance at my phone once on the drive. I overtook twice, both on overtaking lanes because one of the cars was an L Plater doing their respective 80kms, and the other was an old ute struggling up the hill near Mulloon farms.

I feel that I took every measure to make sure I kept myself (and everyone else) safe on the road. But I wasn’t; I nearly missed death three times because of three other people.


To the first person in the purple van with the seemingly appropriate ‘CAUTIOUS’ sticker on your bulbar,

Fortunately for you I saw you pull out on straight stretch of road, this morning. I’m sure the Falcon in front of you was doing a good snail’s pace of 105km and you were late for your band practice, but I didn’t enjoy the sight of your van hurling towards me in my lane while I kept applying more and more pressure on my brakes, finding lower gears as you approached me getting bigger and bigger. Thankfully for me there was no traffic behind me and no one seemed to really mind that I was doing a leisurely speed of 20km/hr. just as you swerved back onto the other side of the road to continue on your journey.

Dear number two,

Did you sort it all out? Oh, sorry; I only ask because you needed to be texting on your iPhone as you swerved onto my side of the road to briefly threaten my life.

Just hope you had enough reception to send it… (I know my Vodafone service is very patchy around Manar).

Hey Third-time’s-the-charm,

My dad’s name is John. Why do you care? Well I just figured you’d need to know it when you have to explain to him that you were the reason his 20-year-old daughter can’t walk anymore because you needed to overtake a line of traffic on the windy bit of road near “the Rock”. Thankfully the leader of the cars you were passing slowed right down and you could duck back in line merely missing me by a second. It’s good that you got home to Canberra two minutes before everyone else, because let’s face it; you looked tired and just needed to put your feet up.

I made it to Braidwood, you guys. I’m sitting in my friend’s lounge room in Braidwood right now drinking cups of tea and listening to music with him. We’re going to a party soon.

It was very kind of the three of you to let me off Scott free today; I really appreciate that I’ll be able to go to my friend’s 21st birthday tonight. Just one quick favour to ask of you before I go and get changed, could you maybe take some care and have some respect next time you drive anywhere, and especially on the Kings Highway. Also, I’d like to make it to 21.

Yours sincerely,

The girl in the red Camry

Monday, May 21, 2012

The long road from Canberra to the coast

There are always local agitations for a better road from Canberra to the sea, especially when, as recently, terrible accidents happen along the present inadequate ribbon of tarmacadam of the Kings Highway. There are always shenanigans about which governments should pay which proportion of the cost of that better highway.

But this history-conscious column notes that these sorts of agitations are not new. In 1926, in editions of that plucky, pioneering new weekly The Canberra Times (published every Thursday), there are occasional tantalising references to the efforts of an evocatively named Canberra-To-The-Sea-League.

Everything to do with Canberrans’ forced separation from the sea (for the federal capital city had to be built somewhere far inland with a frosty, ”bracing” climate), their ingrained Australian hankerings for the seaside and their lemming-like journeys to it is fascinating.

Meanwhile, the league remains a little shadowy. What drove it? What became of it? At first sight Canberra-To-The-Sea sounds excitingly like an ideological rallying cry for a movement that wants to move the city to the coast after all, to right the wrong of beginning it where there are no beaches. But no, that’s not it.

On October 7, 1926 the Times reported, ”A deputation from the Canberra-To-The-Sea-League will wait on the federal ministers at Canberra on Monday next, to urge on the federal government the advisability of constructing a good road from Canberra to the coast, via Hoskins’ Town [sic] and Braidwood to Moruya and Bateman’s Bay.”

But that audience seems to have resulted in a rebuff for the league. The following week’s Times reported ”CANBERRA-TO-THE-SEA. A number of Braidwood residents visited Canberra this week to wait on the acting prime minister [Dr. Earle Page]. The deputation … asked him to grant a sum of money to enable the formation of a road from Canberra to Braidwood. This road, they urged, would give direct connection between Canberra and the seaside resort at Bateman’s Bay, thus giving Canberra residents an easy outlet to the sea.”

The deputation told Page that Jack Lang, the Labor premier of NSW, had promised to contribute 50 per cent towards the cost of the road if only the federal government would do likewise. But Page, a conservative and an ideological opponent of Lang, was sceptical about Lang’s trustworthiness. Why would Lang fork out half the cost, Page interrogated, when he (Lang) had recently rejected the federal government’s generous offer to contribute £1 on top of every 15 shillings NSW spent on roads?

What an interesting route to the coast this one would have been, apparently sidestepping the hamlet of Bungendore, dooming it to inertia but transforming Hoskinstown, today almost the sleepiest spot on earth, into a throbbing, pausing place for coast-going Canberrans.

Read more:

Controlled explosion to remove Kings Hwy boulder

Authorities will use explosives to destroy an unsafe boulder on the Clyde Mountain on Wednesday, forcing the closure of the Kings Highway for about 18 hours.

The boulder, which sits about 1.5 metres above the road, is at the site of the major landslide last month which left 1400 tonnes of debris blocking the main link between Canberra and the south coast for nearly a week.

NSW Road and Maritime Services plan to use explosives to shatter the boulder into smaller pieces, and then remove it from the mountainside.

The boulder was deemed to be a danger to cars on the highway during an inspection last week.

The work is going to block the Kings Highway again, with NSW authorities planning to divert traffic from Braidwood and Batemans Bay.

A temporary catch fence will be removed, and then reinstalled to allow road crews to clean up the site following the demolition.

More debris left over from last month’s landslide will also be removed during the closure.

The road will be closed from 6am until midnight on Wednesday, weather permitting. Signs will advise of diversions and road closures.

Read more:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Kings Highway at Pooh Bear Corner will be closed to traffic on Wednesday 23 May from 6am until 12midnight.

The Kings Highway at Pooh Bear Corner, west of Nelligen will be closed to traffic on Wednesday 23 May from 6am until 12midnight, weather permitting.

This 18 hour closure is needed to safely remove a 1.5 metre high boulder from the mountain. This is the site where a landslip occurred on 20 April 2012.

Due to the large size of the boulder explosives are needed to shatter the rock into smaller pieces. This will require the road to be closed.

During the closure motorists will be diverted at Braidwood and Batemans Bay.

For more information go to the project webpage:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Since 2000, 38 people have been killed on the road, and 719 people injured, in a total of 481 crashes. Nineteen of these lives lost have occurred in the past five years.

What the stats say:
In crashes that resulted in injury and/or death between 2007 and 2011:

- 19 people were killed in 14 fatal accidents.
- 25 per cent of drivers were under 25, while 21 per cent were aged 26 to 39 and 32 per cent were aged 40 to 59.
- The majority of drivers involved in accidents, 29 per cent, were from the local government area of the Kings Highway, while 28 per cent were from the ACT and 24 per cent from other NSW country areas. Just three per cent were from Victoria, three per cent from a metropolitan area and two per cent from another state.
- 57 per cent of people injured were driving, 33 per cent were the passenger, 10 per cent were on a motorcycle.
- 60 per cent of casualty crashes and 79 per cent of fatal accidents occurred in 90 and 100km/h zones.
- Most of the casualty crashes occurred on a bend in a 90km/h+ zone (43), while 39 occurred on a straight, 12 a head-on (not overtaking), seven were rear-ended, two were overtaking and two involved a stock animal.
- 22 per cent of crashes occurred on a Sunday, 18 per cent on a Friday, 19 per cent on a Saturday.
- 51 per cent were speed-related (speed-related accidents make-up 17 per cent of accidents state-wide).
- Out of these speeders, half the drivers were locals, 29 per cent were ACT drivers.
- The review’s project manager Wal Smart said the cluster of fatal accidents were on the outskirts of Braidwood, with one near Pooh Corner and one at Nelligen, but none on the Clyde.
- He said there was also a cluster of injury crashes in the 90km zone at the top of the Clyde Mountain.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Demerits Points accumulated in NSW now transfer to ACT!

Roads and Maritime Services says driver demerit points from New South Wales are now being transferred to the ACT.

Police on the state’s far south coast have expressed concern that Canberra drivers who commit offences on the region’s roads do not have points deducted from their Territory licence.

The issue has become critical during a review into safety along the Kings Highway.

The department’s Road Safety and Traffic Manager, Brian Lefoe, says there is now a system in place.

"There’s a thing called a DPX, which is Demerit Point Exchange, and that works between all of the states," he said.

"The ACT has been one of the last jurisdictions to come on board this scheme, but they’re on board now which is a really good thing for us."

Points from March 2 this year are being transferred.

Mr Lefoe says the system ensures every penalty has a lasting effect.

"Once you get points allocated against your licence in New South Wales, there’s an electronic exchange," he said.

"If you’ve got a Victorian or Queensland licence, for example, the offences you’ve committed as an interstate traveller in our state get transferred back to your licence in your home state."

The Kings Highway review has continued with a forum at Batemans Bay.

Around 20 people raised issues including dangerous overtaking, speeding, and poor road design.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Authority blames poor driving for accidents

Roads and Maritime Services says driver behaviour is the core factor behind accidents on the Kings Highway in the New South Wales south east.

The department is conducting a review into safety on the road after the deaths of five people in one weekend last March.

A public forum will be held at Batemans Bay this morning.

The Road Safety and Traffic Manager, Brian Lefoe, says evidence points to a key issue.

“We’ve had some fairly strong evidence from some of the crashes that occurred and quite a lot of anecdotal evidence from all of the people we’ve spoken to that poor driver behaviour is an issue,” Mr Lefoe said.

“That’s one that we need to work with the Police and our publicity-type campaigns.”

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Courtesy of ABC News Radio

12 people caught speeding down the mountain on Friday!

Only a day after the road reopened, a wave of ACT drivers were busted speeding down the Clyde Mountain, with police clocking speeds of up to 142km/h in a 90km zone.

Police say the operation on the Kings Highway highlighted the need for a correlated demerit point system between NSW and the ACT.

In an operation on the notorious highway between 1pm and 3am on Friday, 12 people were caught speeding and one man was caught drink driving while on his way to pick up his child from the bus stop.

A 48-year-old man from Moruya Heads was caught doing 142km/h in a 90 zone at Currowan at about 5.26pm. He had his licence suspended on the spot.

Police also caught eight drivers doing between 114km/h and 135km/h in a 90 zone, and another driving at 136km/h in a 100 zone.

A P-plater is also lucky to be alive after he lost control and smashed his car into trees near Braidwood on Friday, just after 9pm. (See separate story.)

The number of speeders was no surprise to Batemans Bay Highway Patrol’s Sergeant Angus Duncombe.

“We expected it because of the fact the mountain has been closed for the week and, obviously with the re-opening on Thursday, it was back to normal,” he said.

Sgt Duncombe said Monaro police caught 20 people breaking the law on the Kings Highway on Sunday.

The majority of speeding drivers were from the ACT, Sgt Duncombe said, and while they have been fined, they do not lose any demerit points if they’re caught speeding on NSW roads.

Sgt Duncombe said Far South Coast and Monaro police were frustrated at the lack of correlation between NSW and ACT.

“From our end, it is frustrating the Far South Coast and Monaro Highway Patrol, especially when dealing with ACT drivers and not having any form of demerits for high speeds,” he said.

“The worst they get is a notice of suspension in our state.”

He said ACT drivers suspended in NSW could still drive in the ACT.

“At present we’re working with the Roads and Maritime Service to get some sort of reciprocation in ACT and NSW. They’re not being penalised and that’s the proposal we’ve put to the RMS,” he said.

“It just seems quite silly we have a reciprocation with other states and not the ACT.”

During their operation, police set up their radar and had two cars to intercept the speeders.

They breath-tested 104 drivers, and a 49-year-old man who was on his way to pick up his child from a bus stop, tested positive.

He was pulled up just after 4pm at Currowan, tested positive and his breath analysis read 0.085.

He was charged with drink driving and will appear before Batemans Bay Local Court on May 28.

Sgt Duncombe has also urged people to check when their licence expires, after a few people were caught out during random breath tests over the weekend, and to inform the Roads and Maritime Service of a change of address to receive expiry reminders.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


  • Bungendore: Wednesday 2 May, 2012 from 6pm to 8pm (doors open at 5.30pm) at the Carrington Inn, 21 Malbon Street, Bungendore.
  • Braidwood: Thursday 3 May 2012 from 6pm to 8pm (doors open at 5.30pm) at the National Theatre
  • Batemans Bay: Friday 4 May, 2012 from 10.30am to 12.30pm (doors open at 10am) at the Bay Waters Holiday Resort, corner Kings Highway and Princes Highway Batemans Bay.

Road Safety Review

Don’t forget about the Centre for Road Safety and Maritime Services road safety review of the Kings Highway.

Without community feedback and local presence and input, it is more difficult to plan for future direction of the road. It is also a vital time to say where you think there is a safety concern and identify and road safety issues

  • Bungendore: Wednesday 2 May, 2012 from 6pm to 8pm (doors open at 5.30pm) at the Carrington Inn, 21 Malbon Street, Bungendore.
  • Braidwood: Thursday 3 May 2012 from 6pm to 8pm (doors open at 5.30pm) at the National Theatre

Jump onto the RMS Road Projects Website 

Alternatively, you can contact Candice Camacho for any questions on (02) 8588 5915 or via email: 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Centre for Road Safety and Roads and Maritime Services are undertaking a road safety review of the Kings Highway

You are invited to attend the following community workshops in Bungendore and Batemans Bay:

  • Bungendore: Wednesday 2 May, 2012 from 6pm to 8pm (doors open at 5.30pm) at the Carrington Inn, 21 Malbon Street, Bungendore.
  • Batemans Bay: Friday 4 May, 2012 from 10.30am to 12.30pm (doors open at 10am) at the Bay Waters Holiday Resort, corner Kings Highway and Princes Highway Batemans Bay.

You can also make your submission to the Kings Highway Road Safety Review until Wednesday 16 May 2012 by sending a written submission via post or email.

  • Post:   Kings Highway Road Safety Review
                Roads and Maritime Services
                Infrastructure Communications
                Locked Bag 928
                North Sydney NSW 2059

Kings Highway due to reopen after landslide cleared

Traffic between Canberra and the coast can return to normal from noon today, as authorities prepare to reopen the Kings Highway after a landslide last week.

The main road, which connects Canberra, Queanbeyan, Braidwood and other surrounding inland towns with Batemans Bay, was closed last Friday after a huge landslide, causing travel chaos for families during the ACT school holidays and a slump in tourism dollars.

Engineers racing to re-open the road at Clyde Mountain removed 1400 tonnes of rock and debris and installed a temporary concrete barrier over the past week.

A spokesman for Roads and Maritime Services confirmed this morning that the highway was expected to be reopened to all traffic from noon today.

The Canberra Times visited the site of the landslide yesterday, near Pooh Bear corner, west of Nelligen, and found the road had been cleared by NSW Roads and Maritime Services engineers, who were working on a new protective metal fence attached to the concrete barrier.

Member for Monaro John Barilaro said the priority was to get the road open.

Once the section was re-opened, Mr Barilaro said the NSW roads agency would conduct a thorough geotechnical investigation and ”a full assessment of the whole area”.

”It’s timely that we have further technical and geotech-type investigations into exactly what’s happening, especially coming off 10 years of drought and now with the additional rain,” he said.

The closure of the busy road has hurt inland and coastal businesses that rely on tourist dollars.

In Braidwood, which depends on passing trade to and from the coast, the tourist office said the town was ”very empty” last weekend.

Braidwood Tourism and Information Centre volunteer Bente Jensen said, ”I’ve never seen it this empty and people even commented on it.”

On the other side of the Clyde, the Steampacket Hotel in Nelligen has been cut off by the landslide to the west, but is also affected by the diversions at the Batemans Bay roundabout to the east.

Owner Sam Sergi said patron numbers for Anzac Day yesterday were down 70 per cent.

The pub gets most of its supplies from Canberra, including alcohol and food. The detour meant staff were forced to drive more than five hours to restock.

Read more: