Bike riders will benefit from a rebuilding of Richmond Road between Cambridge and Richmond in southern Tasmania.
The ride to the historic village of Richmond is not so leisurely these days, with a big increase in tourist traffic.
The road is narrow, the verges non-existent and it’s tough even to find a safe driveway to pull into to let traffic pass.
Work on the road is still a year away and will take several years to complete, but the improvements will be worth the wait – not just for bike riders, but for all road users.
There will be 1.5 metre sealed verges on the road, traffic lanes will be wider, and there will be several points where slow vehicles can pull over so traffic can pass.
The State Government has already reacted positively to the safety problems on the road by lowering the speed limit to 80kmh.
That caused some grumpiness from a few residents, who feared their travel times might blow out by a minute or two.
But any sensible, patient traveler would realise that 80kmh was the average speed anyway on a high-volume road that’s narrow and with many private driveways causing safety concerns for residents and road users.
There were even complaints that the speed limit change and the plans to reconstruct the road were all about bike riders.
In fact, wide verges make roads safer for all road users and are standard on all reconstructed state roads.
Meanwhile, the East Derwent Highway from Risdon Cove to Bridgewater – with decent verges, passing lanes and wider traffic lanes than Richmond Rd – has had an 80kmh speed limit for years.
When the road master plan for Richmond Road is ticked off by State Growth there will be an independent review to establish an appropriate speed limit.
By then all users should be well used to 80kmh.