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Journeys : Dec2011 Jan2012
Your views Scooting back in time The article on the advantages of scooters brought back memories of the three years when my husband travelled daily from Woodbridge to Hobart on a Vespa (that’s it with our family aboard, above). We arr ived in Tasmania and unable to afford a car, the Vespa was an economical way for him to travel, even though the trip up Bonnet Hill, through Taroona and Sandy Bay (no Southern Outlet in those days) took over an hour and through the winter months was none too pleasant. He probably invented the storage box (now standard) except that his was made of wood and strapped onto the pillion seat. The box carried eggs to be delivered on the way to work. I’m not sure what the top speed of a scooter would have been, but on one occasion he was fined £2 and ‘ordered to pay 2s 6d costs’ for speeding through K ingston – it must have been a very slack day for the policeman who booked him! Mary Read Birchs Bay Blinkered thinking Sue Zimmerman is right! I am a truck driver and a motorbike rider – it is inappropriate and even causes a dangerous situation when tr ucks or slow-moving vehicles travelling in the left lane use their right blinker to tell following vehicles to overtake. Thomas Iwaszek West Moonah One week, four kilometres, five crashes In one week earlier this year, there were five accidents on the Launceston Souther n Outlet between the Howick Street lights and the Kings Meadows exit. An analysis of the speed management signs and the traffic patterns in this area provides a good insight into why this sector of just a few kilometres is so accident-prone. As you head south, the speed limit on the north side of the Howick Street lights is 60km/h but this immediately transitions to 110km/h on the south side. As a consequence, high-powered traffic tends to accelerate rapidly up the hill at 110km/h, while low-powered or heav ily- laden vehicles struggle to reach 80km/h. This immediately sets up a significant speed disparity in the two lanes. No sooner has this disparity been established, when traffic bound for the Bass Highway needs to diverge left for exit, with the fast lane crossing the path of the slower vehicles as they slow down for the 50km/h exit. Over the top of the hill on the Midland Highway, you then have traffic entering the stream from the Bass Highway before hitting the Kings Meadows exit, again at 50km/h. It seems to me that the speed limits from Howick Street should be gradually increased until 110km/h beyond the Kings Meadows exit. A speed limit of 80 km/h on the hill, 90 km/h beyond the Bass Highway entr y, then 110km/h beyond the Kings Meadows exit would contribute to a more orderly traffic flow, and safer conditions for all motorists. Robin Frith East Launceston The billing of the tolls Travelling from Hobart to the Birdsv ille Races in my ute, everything went to plan. Next stop was to visit relatives on the Gold Coast, then I drove to Melbourne to stay w ith friends. With six nights of the holiday left, I found that the Spirit of Tasmania was booked out for the next 12 nights, so I had to f ly home ($540 for f lights) and leave the ute in Melbourne. When I arrived home I received a demand notice from Queensland motor ways totalling $93.28. Queensland says they want people to come for holidays – this isn’t the way to do it! I would like to see tags or monthly passes available for purchase on the Spir it of Tasmania trip from Tasmania to the mainland, to cover motor way tolls and avoid these unexpected fines. Alan Woodcock Rosetta That blasted sand! On a recent trip to Launceston on the Bass Highway I was forced to follow a truck for a considerable distance. It had an uncovered load of sand. At the first opportunity I passed the truck on an uphill passing lane. On the return trip, while driving into the sun, I noticed my windscreen was badly pitted – it had to be replaced. There is no doubt in my mind that sand blow ing from the truck caused the damage. Since then I have seen a number of trucks loaded with sand, soil and gravel, travelling without covers. I presume this is an offence and if so, it should be vigorously policed. G. Clarke Ulverstone A grand old lady of the road Could this be the oldest Sunliner caravan in Australia? It is still used by a couple in their 80s to visit relatives around Queensland. M.A . Darcy Ulverstone In our community 12 December 2011 / January 2012
Oct Nov 2011
Feb March 2012