9 March 2023

Kings Highway named third worst road in NSW: NRMA

| Sally Hopman
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KIngs Highway

With its tight corners and killer bends, the Kings Highway is a nightmare for most drivers heading from Canberra to the South Coast – and the NRMA has just made that opinion official. Photo: Transport NSW.

It’s official: the Kings Highway at Bungendore has been named the third worst road in NSW by the NRMA.

In its regular pre-election Rate Your Roads survey, the NRMA asked its membership to vote for the roads that gave them the most headaches – and thanks to the recent torrential rain and subsequent potholes, the need for new tyres.

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury told Region on Wednesday that the survey, which the NRMA used to do every year, was now held in the lead-up to a state election. He said for the 2023 survey, a record 28,292 votes were recorded for 10,800 roads.

Top of the list was Sydney’s Parramatta Road at Auburn, with 482 votes, named the worst because of its congestion and general condition, with the Lakes Way at Forster, on the NSW Central Coast, coming in second with 445 votes, also due to its condition and safety concerns.

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The Kings Highway scored a total of 414 votes with concerns for road safety and general condition named as key reasons for the complaints.

But there was some good news for drivers who regularly travel the region’s other trouble spot – the Barton Highway from Yass to Murrumbateman to the border with the ACT. Although it featured in this year’s survey, with 98 votes for the stretch in Jeir between Murrumbateman and the ACT border, it fared significantly better than previous years.

In the past two surveys, 2015 and 2019, it was named the worst road in NSW.

Barton Highway sign

Once the worst stretch of road in NSW, recent roadworks on the Barton Highway, between Yass and the ACT border, have pushed it way down the unpopularity list. Photo: File.

Mr Khoury attributed this to the recent roadworks, including highway duplication plans, on the well-used stretch of highway.

He said the Kings Highway did not top the survey as worst in either of the previous two surveys.

Mr Khoury said one of the reasons the Kings Highway may have featured so prominently this year was because the survey was conducted in December last year, when many Canberrans were likely driving to the South Coast for the Christmas holidays.

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The survey was released in Sydney on Wednesday, 8 March, with the NRMA planning to use it in an educational campaign across the state in the lead-up to the election.

“The NRMA today thanks those thousands of Australians who had their say on what is a critical issue facing our nation and joined a grassroots campaign to make our roads safer and more efficient,” Mr Khoury said.

“Today we release the results of this record-breaking transport survey and will spend the next four years ensuring this data helps drive sensible funding and policy outcomes across all levels of government.

“This community-led advocacy works – some of the state’s worst roads no longer make the list because governments have responded by investing in solutions. This has helped save lives, boosted our economy and got our members home to their families faster.”

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jonathan gaul8:41 am 10 Mar 23

NRMA survey is an unscientific and misleading piece of PR. By far the worst serpentine stretch of mountain highway is the Brown Mountain linking Bega and Cooma and on to Canberra. Climbing steeply through 77 bends up 1,000m in 10kms, the “Brown” is prone to unpredictable rock and tree falls, landslides and slips, traffic delays – it’s unsafe, unstable and unreliable. The Brown has been restricted to a single-lane, red light for 12 months now and that’s likely to continue into 2024, while Transport NSW won’t say when two-lane access will return. Because the Brown is on the border between two NRMA zones, the NRMA Board pays it no attention. More info and a video at fixthebrown.com

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