The first three of 30 additional overtaking lanes on the Newell Highway have opened to traffic as the NSW Nationals in Government motor ahead with plans to improve safety, freight productivity and travel times along the state’s freight backbone.

NSW Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the lanes would provide new opportunities for motorists to pass slower vehicles, improving efficiency along the busy Newell Highway.

“We want to ensure our freight operators have some of the safest, most efficient roads available to them, with the addition of some 30 overtaking lanes expected to save 25 minutes in travel time and increase safety along the length of the highway,” Mr Toole said.

“By partnering with the Newell Highway Alliance, we will be able to deliver these lanes in half the time traditional procurement methods would take, and it’s really encouraging to have three lanes open within the first year.”

Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said the overtaking lanes were just in time for increased traffic over the holiday period.

“This is great news for the many families, tourists and freight operators who travel along this highway, passing through local towns, and supporting local economies as they often stop for something to eat or stay overnight,” Mr Saunders said.

“Motorists will now benefit from a pair of overtaking lanes at Dustys Creek, north of Gilgandra, and one lane at Medway, north of Dubbo. The pair of overtaking lanes in construction at Marthaguy are set to open to traffic in January 2020.”

Mr Toole said Transport for NSW was working with the Alliance to maximise the opportunities on the project for local contractors and suppliers, with more than 100 local and regional businesses having already benefitted from the program.

“We want these infrastructure projects to drive economic activity in the bush as well as safer and more productive journeys on our roads,” Mr Toole said.

More information on the Newell Highway overtaking lanes is available here.