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Reduced speed epidemic spreads

New roadworks on Mt Glorious online survey melting tar epidemic
Mt Glorious

Never mind coronavirus; the biggest epidemic seems to be reduced speed limits, especially on popular motorcycle roads around the country.

The latest is the reduction of speeds on the very open Wivenhoe-Somerset Rd (aka Splityard Creek Rd) which leads to Brisbane’s Holy Grail of riding, Mt Glorious.

A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson says the speed limit was reduced this month from 100km/h to 80km/h on the 22km stretch from Wivenhoe Pocket to Lake Wivenhoe.

“This is to improve safety for road users. This reduction followed a formal speed limit review which was endorsed by the Somerset Speed Management Committee,” they say.

Speed limits are set following detailed engineering assessments which consider a range of factors including the road’s function, physical road environment and crash history.”

Speed Mt Glorious Wivenhoe
Speed limit on Wivenhoe-Somerset Rd


The change in speed limit is part of an epidemic that has hit the mountain in recent years with seeds plummeting as much as 40km/h in some places.

It follows a meeting last August by the Somerset Regional Council’s traffic and Safety Audit Committee which suggested a review of speeds for the lower section of the Northbrook Parkway which runs toward Mt Glorious from the western side.

The current speed is 80km/h, but police suggested it be dropped to 60km/h.

One officer said the stretch of road was “advertised as the top road race for motorcycle in Australia.

“There are online statistics for racing top to bottom and they post how fast they go,” the office told the meeting.

However, Motorcycle Advocacy Group spokesman David White says “nobody has found any online post times for races to date”.

A former TMR worker says the change in speed on the Wivenhoe-Somerset Rd is a “complete disgrace”.

“There is meant to be a scientific process that TMR and councils have to go through to determine the right speed limit on a road,” he says.

“It’s patently obvious to me that this scientific rigour is being bypassed in favour of hysterical residents and police.”

New roadworks on Mt Glorious broken leg
Mt Glorious is glorious if the roads are in good repair!

A rider concerned that the epidemic of speed reduction would include Northbrook Parkway has started a online petition.

However, TMR says there are “currently no proposed changes to the speed limit on Northbrook Parkway”. 

We reviewed the speed limit in late 2019 and determined the existing 80km/h is appropriate,” the spokesperson says. 

Speed assessment

TMR says that in November 2018, they released a new Queensland Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices: Part 4 Speed Controls, the first major revision of speed limit guidelines in Queensland since 2003.

The engineering assessment methodology was revised to incorporate a safety assessment of road infrastructure,” the TMR spokesperson says.

Key road features, such as road geometry, lane and shoulder width, and the presence of roadside hazards, have been found to significantly influence the likelihood and severity of crashes.

“These features are now specific factors in the speed limit review.

The assessment also considers crash rates as an indicator of safety risk.

When considering the balance between road safety and efficient travel, the recommended speed limits are the safest and most appropriate speeds for that location at the time of assessment.

Where the safety risk is high, the review will likely recommend a lower speed limit to give road users more protection.”

  1. one thing and one thing only: revenue making scheme
    I was so mad when I saw the dropped speed limit on the Splityard Creek rd on Saturday

    1. Yep. Also went through there on Sunday. Pfft!! Boring. If a rider or car driver can’t do 100kph along there and stay in control, they should hand their license in. It is that simple.

  2. Did our industry advocate (i.e. the RACQ) have any input to these policies and decisions?

    What was their position on it?

  3. Although I now ride a cruiser I used to ride a sports bike and that stretch of road has always been a hoot for sports bikes. Its a shame its being slowly wound down to walking pace.

  4. I rode Splityard this week, at the new speed limit. It was more dangerous than at 100. Why? Because it is too slow to keep a rider or driver concentrating on the job in hand, and your mind wanders. I found myself thinking about just about anything other than the riding, and staring into the bush either side of the road. Result? A couple of nearly missed corner entries. This is becoming common on many fo the roads where speeds have been reduced significantly. There is plenty of world-wide evidence that reducing speeds can make roads lass safe, that this human factors issue is why.

  5. P Bishop says, The speed limits on these roads are getting utterly Crazy .The problem isn’t the speeds but the driver and Rider skills set. Instead of penalizing the majority of capable people out there because of the few, why not educate them better ,with defensive driving courses, instead of turning this country into the revenue raising platform that it has now become. Instead of missing cornering lines and constantly checking the speedo to see if you are going to get pinged for going 5k’s over an already slow speed limit.,because some over zealous copper is hiding in the bushes to get his quoto up . If they were fair dinkum about road safety, fix the bloody roads

  6. That’s ruined an excellent motorcycling environment, over the last 20 years, we always considered 100 too slow……. 😛

  7. I haven’t been on that road in a long time now on my bike. Mostly because of all the police monitoring, but also knowing my neighbour crashed on his bike there 2-3 years ago and passed away. He was a helluva good rider…

    Personally I’d be happy if they dropped it to 80kph in danger areas, but kept 100kph for most of it. Even my workmate who’d ride that road back in the 70’s/80’s, at the speeds he was racing at, he soon realised that just a little of that moss growth on the road would wipe you out instantly.

  8. So would this mean they are admitting to either not building the road corr3ctly in the first place , or failing to keep the road up to proper specs

  9. What irks me even more is when they improve the road safety – shoulders, guardrails and the like – then drop the speed.

    What TMR should be doing is upgrading the roads, not changing a sign, it’s a cop-out.

  10. Its not just happening to popular motorbike near Brisbane roads. The Oxley highway is one prominent NSW road that has suffered a similar fate and there are many others.
    Its happening far to much to be single road reviews. This is a categoric, deliberate revenue raising measure. Its a simple formula, decrease the speed limit it on roads that can clearly handle higher speeds, place speed traps on that road and just rake in the revenue.

  11. What irks me is the “gotcha’ mentality so prevalent now. It is an insult to the intelligence of ordinary people who are, – contrary to what the authorities seem to think, – not out to break reasonable laws. And any that are will still do so.

    Talk of introducing the average speed cameras for cars & bikes, confirms that the motives of the bureaucrats are not genuine. “we don’t care how fast you go as long as you stop for a pee before the next camera”.

    Its out of control, and there will be a point where respect for inappropriate laws will start to have the opposite effect to the intention fo the bureaucrats. If that point is not already here.

    Quote; “(hidden) speed cameras save lives”
    “If he had know there was a speed camera around the corner, he would have slowed down and lived.”

    Both of these quotes are from NSW RMS files. Take your pick.

  12. I find it difficult to understand given the safety technology built into vehicles today, including motorcycles, compared to 40 years ago, why riders and drivers cant do speeds we were doing 40 years ago. The roads have improved out of sight compared to those times. I think the natural regression for safety is to continually restrict freedom, but not so much to ensure people are better protected against themselves, but more to ensure that as more road users comply with the rules, revenue drops and the government have to keep moving the goal posts to maintain their income. I would expect that if these speed restrictions are put in place, you could reasonably expect to see less police on those roads because the risk has been reduced, but I suggest the number of police patrols for those roads won’t reduce, they would more likely increase for obvious reasons.

  13. My two cents.
    The above story quotes TMR to have said
    “Key road features, such as road geometry, lane and shoulder width, and the presence of roadside hazards, have been found to significantly influence the likelihood and severity of crashes.”
    I’d like to note there’s no mention of common sense, but mostly this;
    With current road repair and resurfacing methods (since the 2011 Qld flooding events especially) the roads seem to gain a lot of height when upgrades are carried out. They also lose shoulder width, resulting in next to no safe stopping room off line. It seems too, to this casual observer, that sweeping the road after works is no longer part of the protocol. Maybe they’re dropping the speed limit early, so people are slightly less likely to notice the nice smooth roads are actually more dangerous after they’ve “fixed” them.
    In my mind the biggest improvement the could make to any roads such as those around Mt Glorious, Mt Mee, Maleny, Mt Tamborine etc, would be a whole heap of slow vehicle turn out locations… And signage to encourage it (like on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria). This would not only further allow motorcyclists to enjoy the road, but would make it generally safer for all road users. Those sooty old diesels towing caravans or horse floats could let passers by, then travel at their own speed. The family sedan or suv with a carsick kid in the back can stop for a gulp of air without having 2 wheels in the lane. And, when the authorities do actually visit the twisties (instead of just parking a camera in the bushes along one of the very rare overtake opportunities) they can stand next to the poor sap they’ve caught out without being in the middle of the road.
    As a side note… It’s not just on the fun roads where main roads is perpetuating the fallacy of ‘slow is safe’. Even basic stretches of Highway around any town you care to mention are getting the reduced speed limit treatment. Just recently a 90 zone leaving Toowoomba was reduced to 80, with a bunch of unwarranted crash zone signs to try and sell it to the masses. Meanwhile on that same stretch an intersection was resealed and a layer of gravel seemingly deliberately deposited on the fresh tar across the entire lane. Road geometry and roadside hazards are determining factors, or whatever suits the accounts administrator?

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