Acting Premier and Minister for Police Troy Grant and Minister for Roads Duncan Gay today announced new incident response measures to clear accidents faster following a review of a major crash on Sydney Harbour Bridge last month.
Mr Grant said Transport for NSW’s CBD Co-ordination Office and NSW Police have completed a thorough review of the incident, which examined response times and associated delays.
“This review has recommended a number of new strategies to improve future responses to traffic incidents on approach to the CBD and within the city centre, including improving communication of those incidents to motorists,” Mr Grant said.
“We know how important it is for police to thoroughly investigate serious crashes but we need to do better with our response and crash clearing times and communicate clearly with drivers so we can minimise delays for those on the road.’’
Some of the changes being made as a result include:
· Crash Investigation Unit response staff will now start their morning shift near the Sydney CBD;
· The CBD Motorcycle Response Team, which can move more quickly through heavy traffic, will take on some crash investigation tasks;
· Communication to commuters will be improved, encouraging a “stay away” or “use trains or ferries” message rather than “expect delays” or “use alternative routes”; and
· Funding being committed to explore improved measuring technology for crash investigation to reduce road closure times.
Minister Gay said he had asked for a review into this incident to determine if there was anything which could have been done better.
“I’m glad to see there will now be new protocols in place including better and faster communication to commuters – I don’t want to see motorists delayed like they were last month again,” Mr Gay said.
“Motorists should be aware that their time may be better spent working from home instead of sitting in hours of traffic when large-scale road closures happen on key routes, during peak times – that message needs to get out faster.”
“I established the Motorcycle Response Team in 2013 through funding from the Community Road Safety Fund (where speeding fine revenue goes) – we should be utilising these experts for crash investigations when necessary, especially when the crash is near the CBD.”