Meeting today between Whittingham residents and MP Michael Johnsen

Residents are hoping a meeting today, with their local member Michael Johnsen, will result in a reduction of the speed limit on New England Highway through Whittingham from 100 to 80km/hour.

They have been campaigning for a speed reduction and safety upgrades on that section of highway since 2012 and during that time there have been seven fatal accidents ( this excludes accidents near the Golden Highway intersection) and 11 catastrophic accidents.

The most recent fatality occurred on June 20 this year when Singleton resident Lloyd George was killed while attempting to make a right hand turn from Racecoruse Lane onto the highway and only a few weeks later a family's life was devastated when their vehicle was involved in a head-on collision just up the road near the Wake family's dairy.

A mother and her child suffered horrendous injuries and will require extensive on-going treatment.

For the residents who have to battle to enter and exit the highway on a daily basis the road in their opinion is a death trap and it will only be a matter of time before another serious or fatal accident takes place.

They say the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) have ignored all their pleas despite meetings and letter writing and representations to governments.

Standing beside the highway talking to the Argus the residents watched semi-trailers flying past and they said how can we safely use this road given the volume and speed of the traffic.

What has really angered them is the $3 million upgrade to the Racecourse Lane intersection which Chris Bennett described as a complete and utter waste of money.

"Before they designed the upgrade they promised to consult with residents and they didn't - par for the course but this upgrade has actually made the road more dangerous for people using Racecourse Lane - its an absolute disaster," he said.

"We are calling on Mr Johnsen to have the speed limit reduced immediately, we simply can't understand how the RMS justifies the 100km/hr speed limit given the volume of traffic and the number of accidents."

Their campaign has gained support of the major employers Pip Byrnes has spoken to in recent months as like the residents they are concerned about their workers safety.

"Like us they want to see improvements in the road's safety and the quickest way to achieve that is to reduce the speed limit," she said.

DANGEROUS: Residents Chris Bennett, Robert Ball and Pip Byrnes at the intersection of Racecourse Lane and the New England Highway which was upgraded last year.

DANGEROUS: Residents Chris Bennett, Robert Ball and Pip Byrnes at the intersection of Racecourse Lane and the New England Highway which was upgraded last year.

Figures show 25,000 vehicles a day travel through Singleton and the majority would come through the Whittingham area.

"This road passes through a prime agricultural district which means we have cattle trucks, horse floats, milk tankers people buying hay plus the residents and the school bus all trying to get on and off without being involved in an accident, its a nightmare," said Ms Byrnes.

"The high volume of traffic and the speed combine make this road extremely dangerous for all users."

Police Inspector - Officer in Charge Singleton sector Jo Schultz said figures from July-208-June 2019 showed there were 5000 traffic infringements in the Singleton police district.

Of those 789 took place on the highway at Whittingham and these included tali-gating, speeding, illegal U turns and using mobile phones.

"We are concerned at the high number of traffic infringements in the district in particular those at Whittingham - it shows poor driver behaviour and we will continue to target that area in our highway patrols," she said.

Traffic at the corner of Haggartys Lane and the New England Highway - peak afternoon time. Photo Robert Ball.

Traffic at the corner of Haggartys Lane and the New England Highway - peak afternoon time. Photo Robert Ball.

Inspector Schultz said driver safety on the New England Highway was a concern for police.

Robert Ball has a farm located on the corner of Haggartys Lane and the New England Highway and land has been resumed for roadworks which were expected to take place years ago.

"We are still waiting for those works to begin. And when they do the speed limit will be dropped to ensure workers safety and so it should be the number one priority," he said.

"But my question to the RMS is why don't they care about the residents safety when we are trying to get on and off the highway," he said.

Singleton Mayor Sue Moore said "the General Manager and I have met with the residents of Whittingham about the dangers of the New England Highway in their area, and have given Council's commitment to work with them to support their campaign for a drop in the speed limit to 80km/h and other safety improvements needed through that section.

"Since then, Council has acted on its commitment by writing to Mr Johnsen and raising the issue at Council's local traffic committee and in conversations with the RMS, asking that Council and the community be meaningfully involved in any considerations for this dangerous section of the New England Highway," she said.

"We have been made aware the residents are meeting with Mr Johnsen and are pleased to see their campaign is gaining traction.

"We look forward to the response and outcome by the State Government, and again reiterate our support to the residents to assist in any way we can."