Media releases

RAA report calls for major improvements to South Eastern Freeway

Wednesday, 10th Jun 2020

An RAA investigation into the state’s busiest freeway has made key recommendations to reduce road trauma, ease traffic congestion and improve freight efficiency.

RAA’s South Eastern Freeway Report’s major recommendations include:

  • Building a new safety ramp closer to the toll gate with a dragnet system to stop runaway vehicles
  • Erect overhead signs to display a vehicle’s real-time speed for each down-hill lane on the approach to the toll gate
  • Upgrade the existing route between Murray Bridge and Truro to encourage heavy vehicles to avoid using the freeway 
  • Plan to build a third lane between Stirling and Verdun
  • Invest the millions of dollars in revenue raised by the Crafers and Leawood Gardens fixed speed cameras into improving safety on the freeway

RAA Senior Manager Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said the South East Freeway was not only vital to the Adelaide Hills region, but also the whole state due to its significance to both freight and tourism in South Australia.

He said the report was timely given the State Government’s announcement in January that it wasn’t proceeding with GlobeLink, meaning the South Eastern Freeway will continue to be the principal road access to the Adelaide Hills and South East for the foreseeable future.

“RAA has outlined a series of recommendations aimed at improving safety on the South Eastern Freeway and improving connectivity with the future North-South Corridor,’’ Mr Mountain said.

“If no alternative route is developed by the time the North-South corridor is complete, it’s likely that a substantial volume of freight traffic through Adelaide will shift from Portrush Road to Cross Road, to benefit from the non-stop motorway.

“In that case upgrades on Cross Road will also be required, including the intersections of Fullarton and Goodwood roads and grade separation at the level crossing at Kings Park.”

The report said tragically there had been three fatalities and 48 serious injuries on the section of freeway - which stretches 7.5km between Crafers and Portrush Road intersection - between 2014 and 2018. The three deaths were caused by runaway trucks at the intersection in January and August 2014.

The report also found in the past 5 years more than $30 million in fines were generated by the freeway’s two fixed speed cameras.

This money could contribute to the building of a third safety ramp, which could be located closer to the Portrush Road intersection, around 250m west of the existing second and last ramp,’’ Mr Mountain said.

RAA’s report has been shared with the State Government and other key stakeholders.