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Right turn is a wrong turn for city tram

Sunday, 18th Nov 2018

RAA says a right-turn for trams from King William Street onto North Terrace would be costly and disruptive, and is money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Representing over 720,000 South Australians, the state’s peak motoring body welcomes the government’s decision not to proceed with retrofitting a right-turn at the busy intersection, warning that its expense would far outweigh any potential benefits.

Charles Mountain, RAA’s Senior Manager Road Safety, said that motorists, pedestrians and CBD residents have already endured months of disruption and delays during the city tram extension on North Terrace, which only began operating last month.

“A right-turn for the tram would just create more delays and disruptions at one of Adelaide’s busiest intersections, as retrofitting the right-turn would impact traffic and pedestrian flows in both directions to the north, south, east and west of the CBD,” said Mr Mountain.

Once operational, the tram would need to have its own right-turn traffic signal and RAA is predicting that the net effect would be delays in both directions along King William Street.

“Motorists, pedestrians and buses will need to give way whenever trams turn right onto North Terrace, and this will only add to the pain of the daily commute,” said Mr Mountain.

With cost estimates for the right-turn predicting a price tag of at least $117 million, RAA believes that tax payers’ money can be better spent on repairing and upgrading unsafe roads across the state.

“Some of the state’s regional roads and key freight corridors, including Augusta Highway, Horrocks Highway and Riddoch Highway, are in desperate need of repair and are claiming too many lives each year.

“Fixing unsafe regional roads not only reduces the state’s road toll and number of serious injuries, it can also increase freight efficiency and tourism, and contribute to overall economic growth. 

“The bottom line is that money from the public purse would be better spent on other transport projects that will have a much better outcome for the South Australian community,” said Mr Mountain.

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