I am a rate payer and lived in this lovely area for over forty years, and have seen many changes to our roads.
I left school at fifteen and my third job at sixteen was in the building industry, civil engineering and road construction. I have driven on many different roads and surfaces in my travels. Like many others, I have observed how we constantly keep patching and repairing our same roads, over and over, year after year. Our roads are not built in a manner to support 60 plus ton type B double trucks of today.
So unfortunately in our area we have the crazy idea that we can run these very heavy trucks on roads built to a far less standard. I also know that the number of truck axles and air ride suspension have come a long way, but the simple fact is that all the axles and air bags in the world DO NOT make the truck any LIGHTER.
We should have a truck drop off centre/ depot either end of town and should have only tri-axled semi trailers of no more the thirty tons on our roads.
I have seen perfectly good pieces of road ripped up and resurfaced with an inferior finish only to have it ruined by pot holes within weeks. The roads around Wingham are a disgrace. Part of the Bulga Road was resurfaced for some $435,000 yet there was nothing wrong with it! And to get there, 1km prior, are council signs saying bad road, drive carefully! In the other direction along the Wherrol Flat Road, it is so bad that all four wheels are in pot holes at the same time. I believe it has been tarred once in 40 years. Like many other ratepayers, I see how the yearly special rates increase has failed to deliver better roads when all we see is many millions being wasted on the same roads, simply because they are not built for 60 plus ton trucks.
Taree’s population has barely moved in 20 years, but the outlying towns and villages have increased so much of our commuter traffic comes from these areas where the roads are the worst. We don’t need our rates increased or to have detours for months so as to repair the same roads yet again. I contacted the Wingham ratepayers association, no reply, maybe they’ve given up or been amalgamated with council. I will not accept any more of these wasteful rate rises and will withhold my rates. How much money could have been saved, and we would have good roads, if we had lighter, instead truck which are too heavy on our roads.
I urge the rate payers to come together on this issue.