THREE overtaking lanes planed for the Flinders Highway between Charters Towers and Townsville must be accelerated to keep road users safe.
Katter's Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the increased prevalence of road haulage from the north west minerals province to the Port of Townsville meant the work had become a priority.
Mr Katter said the lack of overtaking lanes on the busy stretch of highway was a constant cause of concern to road users travelling between Charters Towers and Townsville.
He said safety issues on that stretch, compounded by high numbers of caravans during tourist season, had led to tragedy in the past.
Mr Katter implored Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey to act immediately to identify and fund solutions to make the highway safer.
"There is approximately a 100km stretch of road on the Flinders Highway between Charters Towers and Townsville, north of Mingela, which has no passing lanes and has seen increased use by road trains, often resulting in light vehicles making ostensibly dangerous overtaking moves so they may travel at 110 km/h without hindrance," Mr Katter said.
He urged Mr Bailey to ensure funding was provided to make sure the upgrades could occur as soon as possible.
Mr Bailey confirmed more overtaking lanes were planned but there was no timeline in place for the works.
He said the department was finalising the plans for the installation of three overtaking lanes on the Flinders Highway between Townsville and Mingela.
"This important project will deliver three overtaking lanes, with a dual direction lane (both northbound and southbound) planned about 27 kilometres south of Townsville, and a single northbound overtaking lane about 67 kilometres south of Townsville," Mr Bailey said.
The overtaking lanes would be jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.
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