On Monday April 12, motorists were stuck in gridlock on the F3 Freeway after a crash involving a B-double fuel tanker at Mount White.
The crash occurred just before lunch time, however, a contra-flow emergency plan was not put in place until late in the evening. Traffic was backed up for a significant distance during the evening peak hour.
NRMA Motoring & Services President Wendy Machin said the RTA’s traffic management plan for dealing with incidents on the F3 needs a major overhaul.
The NRMA’s analysis of the F3 traffic management plan has found:
|•||Two years after the $28 million plan was announced, it appears that five of the proposed cross-overs still have not been installed.|
|•||The cross-over located south of the crash site could have been used to divert northbound traffic onto the F3′s southbound lanes. The two cross-overs just north of the crash could then have been used to re-divert traffic back on to northbound lanes. None of these three cross-overs are finished.|
|•||Purpose-built sheds to store traffic cones and water supplies may be situated away from the cross-over sites, making it harder for contra-flow to be quickly put into place.|
|•||After the incident was contained, the priority should have shifted to managing its traffic impact. This does not appear to have happened.|
|•||Insufficient information was given to motorists approaching the F3 or those already caught in the congestion.|
The RTA’s traffic management plan was also supposed to enable the RTA and State emergency services to quickly distribute bottled water to stranded motorists.
“Instead, NRMA patrols on the freeway encountered many distressed motorists and provided bottled water of their own accord,” Ms Machin said.
According to the RTA website, the F3 Freeway is the main link between the Central Coast and Hunter regions and Sydney, with more than 75,000 motorists and 7000 freight vehicles using it each day.
What needs to be done to avoid extended delays on our roads? Were you stuck on the F3?