Sep 9, 2011

Sturt Highway rest area at Willowvale now open

A new rest area at Willowvale has been completed providing truck drivers and other users of the Sturt Highway with a better, safer place to pull over and take a break.

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Federal funding for the project came from the Gillard Labor Government’s $70 million Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.

“Across NSW, this program is delivering 55 new and upgraded rest stops and nine refurbished parking bays, complementing our record investment in the upgrading of the State’s highways,” Mr Albanese said.

“This program represents the single largest Federal investment in roadside facilities used by truck drivers, which in turn will make our nation’s highways safer for all road users.”

The rest area is a jointly funded project with the Australian Government providing $525,000 and the NSW Government a further $2.04 million.

NSW Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay, said the rest area would help to reduce heavy vehicle crashes involving driver fatigue.

“Located along the Highway’s eastbound side, about 37 kilometres east of Balranald, the rest area will offer a safe place for truck drivers to get the breaks they need,” Mr Gay said.

“Last year 79 people were killed in NSW in crashes involving trucks with fatigue a factor in many of them. We must do more to prevent these tragedies – and without doubt, providing new and upgrade rest stops is an investment in safer roads.”

The upgraded site meets National Transport Commission guidelines and is part of the NSW RTA’s strategy to improve access to rest areas along key rural freight routes.