A U-turn sign on the new Pacific Highway upgrade section at Maclean
A U-turn sign on the new Pacific Highway upgrade section at Maclean

REVEALED: Why U-turns are off limits on new highway

With our new highway upgrade throwing up a myriad of new twists and turns, it's only natural we occasionally miss our exit.

Especially in the section between the Iluka turn-off and Glenugie, can you just duck in and turn around at one of the emergency bays?

The answer is no, according to Transport for NSW.

According to them, there are 32 U-turn bays, and 45 U-turn bays for emergency vehicles along the entire length of highway, however they are spread far and wide on the areas between Iluka and Maclean, and especially Tyndale and Glenugie.

A missed exit there can lead to an almost 40km detour to the journey.

However, a representative of Transport for NSW explained that there is good reason for the general public not to be using the ones marked for emergency use.

A U-turn sign on the new Pacific Highway upgrade section at Maclean
A U-turn sign on the new Pacific Highway upgrade section at Maclean

"The U-turn bays available for the general public have deceleration lanes adjacent to the fast lanes and a widened turning circle in the opposite direction, allowing motorists to slow down, turn and merge safely," they said.

"Emergency U-turn bays do not include these provisions and are intended only for use in emergencies and incident management by trained personnel with appropriate Work Health and Safety controls, such as flashing lights."

Transport for NSW said they understood it may take some time for road users to become familiar with the new motorway alignment.

"Permanent signage is installed along the route in line with the Woolgoolga to Ballina directional signage plan, which is available on the project website," they said.

"In the short term, a number of temporary electronic message signs have also been placed to assist with journey management."

The penalty for making a U-turn against signed direction is four demerit points and $247 fine.



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