Variable Speed Limit (VSL) signs have been successfully trialled along a new southbound overtaking lane on the Newell Highway in NSW.

The new technology allows speed zones to be changed instantly and eliminates risks to traffic control workers. 

The trial on the new overtaking lane, about 4km south of Peak Hill, marks the first time VSL signs have been used in the western NSW region. 

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, said the NSW Government had made a commitment to build about 30 overtaking lanes in four years to boost freight productivity and save road users about 25 minutes of travel time along the highway’s length, with 15 lanes already either delivered or under construction.

The VSL signs were rolled out as part of construction of the latest overtaking lane.

“This technology has the capability of changing speed zones instantly by a computer application, eliminating the need for traffic control workers to manually change the speed signs, and affording motorists improved visibility of lit-up signs in poor light conditions and wet weather,” Mr Toole said.

The latest 1.5km overtaking lane at Peak Hill is the ninth new overtaking lane delivered by the Newell Highway Program Alliance since it was formed in January 2019.

“We are excited to have delivered the Peak Hill overtaking lane within four months, despite eight days lost due to wet weather,” Mr Toole said. 

“Its completion is hot on the heels of the opening of a northbound overtaking lane at Telescope, which was completed and open to traffic in mid-April.”

The project team employed 28 local workers in the delivery of the Peak Hill overtaking lane and 28 at the Telescope site. 

A minimum total of 45km of new overtaking lanes along the Newell Highway will be built over four years to improve safety, reduce travel times, allow more accurate travel planning and improve freight productivity.

Another six overtaking lanes are currently under construction along the highway. 

View more information on the Newell Highway overtaking lanes here.

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