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Speed limit hits Oxley Highway businesses

Oxley Highway businesses event
Riders on the Oxley Highway

Businesses on the Oxley Highway have been impacted since the speed limit on 44km of the eastern mountain section was cut from 100km/h to 80km/h in December 2017.

Save the Oxley protestor Ken Healey says business is down and there were “not many bikes” around over Easter.

“Groups are not coming as they use to,” he says. “The RMS (Roads and Maritime Services) did a fantastic job of stuffing up businesses, a great road and a great destination.”

Businesses hit

Gingers Creek Roadhouse owner Garry Hartas is reported in the local newspaper as saying his banking is down 50% since the new limit was imposed.

His popular motorcycle cafe is right in the middle of the new 80km/h mountain zone.

Near-empty park at Gingers Creek Roadhouse businesses on the Oxley Highway
Near-empty park at Gingers Creek Roadhouse

Garry claims rider numbers are down from 100 to 200 over a weekend to about 30 and accommodation has gone from 20-30 a week to none for the past two months.

However, John Keogh who handles Garry’s social media blames locals for the downturn in rider tourism businesses.

“I believe as a non-local that all the negative chatter from the locals on social media is making people think twice,” he says.

“I ride it all the time and love it but people ask me about it all the time. They are killing it, I think.

“Let’s talk the road up, not down.”

John has put together the following drone video of the road to show its rider attractions and has challenged locals to say something positive about the Oxley.

It appears some of the drone footage is sped up. It also shows some rather dangerous lines as riders hug the centre line around a blind corner.Oxley Highway businesses

We agree that riders should talk up the Oxley Highway and continue to make it a pilgrimage.

For a promotional video of the highway’s virtues, we prefer this one by moto journo Mick Matheson that we posted in June 2016 before the speed limit review.

Tourism is not only down on the mountain section, but also on the western end of the highway.

Walcha Royal Cafe owner Toni Heaney says the number of riders through the area have slowed down.

“But we also believe that we were in a elevated economy before December with bike riders wanting to tick it off their list before the speed reductions were enforced in late December,” she says.

“I also feel that there is a general belief that the speed reductions are all across the mountain from Port to Walcha not just in the one area and that’s what needs to be clarified to the bike riders.

Protestors line up at Walcha Royal Cafe businesses on the Oxley Highway
Protestors line up at Walcha Royal Cafe

The RMS review originally proposed speed reductions along the length of the highway from Wauchope to Walcha.

However, local protests forced a review of their proposals, resulting in the reduction only on the 44km mountain section, not long the rest of the road to Walcha.

Good newsOxley Highway business

The good news for riders worried about watching their speedos instead of the road is that the tight and winding mountain section is almost impossible for police to patrol safely.

Police would not confirm this to us, but we have heard it reported second hand from several riders who have talked with local police and heard them discuss the issue at local meetings.

Ken confirms that police are “not a worry” on the mountain section where there are no pullover areas and the road is too narrow for patrol cars to u-turn.

“I’ve only heard of one guy getting booked (since the 80km/h limit was imposed),” he says.

  1. I can see the new statistics they will boast about there will be one or two less fatal accidents and five less serious crashes in total per year and they will claim its a great victory
    But when you see that the number of kilometres traveled will be a tenth of what it used to be you will see the crash and fatality rate has actually skyrocketed from one per million kilometres traveled to ten per million Km.
    Note fake statistics used for illustration purposes unlike the fake statistics used to justify stupid decisions by government.

  2. The drone video showing poor motorbike positioning merely highlights the requirement for 80 kph in the area it’s been implemented. The huge positive is the 80 wasn’t from Wauchope to Walcha!
    Start being positive riders & get back there in droves please 🙂

  3. Government and regulation kills business. No doubt. But there is a huge swathe of the Australian population that agrees everything should be managed and regulated, so that is what we must all live with. I haven’t been up to the Oxley for a couple of years, and have no intention of visiting again. Riding a road like the Oxley while watching your speedo to make sure you stay under 80kph…pffft…it’s dead…it’s over. Another win for the wowsers who cannot bear the thought of anyone, anywhere, having fun. Years ago, me and the missus used to grab every chance we could to ride down to the NSW south coast on a public holiday; then they introduced the double demerit scheme. Now the bikes sit in the garage on public holidays, because who wants to be staring at a speedo for 3 hours? And I know for a fact that we are not alone. I wonder how much that has cost regional businesses over the years.

  4. Sorry, I didn’t catch where this road us located in the article. My apologies of I missed it. This is happening everywhere. Governments reduce speeds, increase speed traps, increase police harrassment increase fine, increase points penalties. Stop people from enjoying their chosen passion because it scares the people who complain to politicians. Its claimed a success, but never reversed if proven to be a failure. Destroying businesses the put food on family tables. Thats your freedom slipping away Australia.

  5. I love this road and aim for it whenever travelling from Brisbane to southern areas. My skills were never good enough to do the 100kmh in the winding sections, so the speed reduction in that area has not impacted me. In fact I think some of the ones I saw who could do the 100kmh were doing it dangerously. Have 2 gingers creek t shirts and the coffee at the Walcha Royal is great

  6. Sorry, but I can’t really see the alleged “poor bike positioning” in this video. I see bikes close to the centre lines, but they would have had an open view of the road ahead at the point where they get close to those lines. I suspect a drone view is not something many of us are used to looking at. I will ride the Oxley again, but must admit that I haven’t been in a hurry to do so because of these restrictions.
    Al, your stats may be fake, but on the money!

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