New limit aids safety in town

Jacinta Cantatore & Kasper JohansenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Waroona Shire president Mike Walmsley is "tickled pink" to have the 40km zone through the town.
Camera IconWaroona Shire president Mike Walmsley is "tickled pink" to have the 40km zone through the town.

Waroona’s main drag is safer thanks to the new 40km/h zone through town.

The new limit will tie in with plans to create a “heart” in the town centre.

The 40km/h limit begins just after Palmerston Street on the southern end and finishes just before Wass Street on the northern end.

It is latest in a string of towns along South Western Highway to have their speed limit reduced through the main thoroughfare in a bid to increase safety.

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The road is still a designated oversized-vehicle route.

“We’re tickled pink,” Waroona Shire president Mike Walmsley said.

Shire president Mike Walmsley, pictured, said the safety of residents was at the forefront of the push for the change.

“When you have someone in the middle of the road, especially if they’re on a gopher, it can be a bit intimidating if trucks are passing on both sides,” Cr Walmsley said.

“We care about our elderly residents and if it is some small way in making them feel a bit more comfortable in crossing the highway, then it has achieved our goal,” he said.

In February 2020, the State Government trialled reducing the speed limit on the highway through Boyanup, Donnybrook, Balingup and Bridgetown.

At the time of the trial, Cr Walmsley expressed disappointment that Waroona had missed out, despite Shire staff lobbying Main Roads and the State Government for the speed reduction for years.

“They’ve made it clear we will not get a crosswalk in town so we’ve asked several times to get the limit lowered,” Cr Walmsley told the Reporter at the time of the trial.

Camera IconCredit: Jacinta Cantatore/Jacinta Cantatore

Community support and a high level of compliance through the four trial towns led to the speed limit being permanently reduced to 40km/h on those sections of the highway.

This led the way for Waroona to have its main street speed limit lowered, which is a huge safety boost according to Cr Walmsley.

“We are really happy that this finally come into fruition, that Main Roads have listened to us and come up with having a 40km zone to make it safer,” Cr Walmsley said.

“All things considered it might add about nine or 10 seconds to someone’s drive through town.

He said the new speed limit would suit the planned “heart” for Waroona.

“It will blend in well with our new park. There could be children crossing the road as well.”

Main Roads has made other moves to increase safety on South Western Highway, in November lowering the speed limit between Hynes Road and Giorgi Road in Picton East from 100kmh to 80kmh, and reducing the 80km/h speed zone west of Giorgi Road to 70km/h.

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