Kings Highway (Australia)

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Kings Highway
Australian Capital Territory – New South Wales
General information
Type Highway
Length 141 km (88 mi)
Opened 1974
Route number(s) B52
Former
route number
National Route 52 (1974 - 2013)
Major junctions
West end Monaro Highway (B23),
Fyshwick, Australian Capital Territory
  for full list see major intersections
East end Princes Highway (A1),
Batemans Bay, New South Wales
Location(s)
Major settlements Bungendore, Braidwood, Nelligen
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Road infrastructure in Canberra

The Kings Highway is a state highway located within the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales, Australia. The highway connects Canberra and Batemans Bay.

Route[edit]

West to east, it starts at the junction with the Monaro Highway on Canberra Avenue in the Australian Capital Territory crossing over the border into New South Wales near Queanbeyan, passing through Queanbeyan itself, Carwoola, briefly crossing back into the Kowen district of ACT and then back into NSW heading south-east to Batemans Bay via Bungendore, Braidwood and Nelligen.

It is signed as National Route 52. The Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW has come to an informal agreement with councils along the route to sign the entire route as Kings Highway, despite it having no single declared name along its route. The National Route was established in 1974.[1]

The Kings Highway links Highway 1 (known as the Princes Highway) to Canberra, and provides access for residents of Canberra to the NSW South Coast and its beaches. The highway is often busy on weekends, especially during summer. The highway also experiences a high number of car accidents, on occasions averaging around one every three days, costing the local community around the highway several million dollars a year.[2]

The landscape is generally sheep country. The highway travels from the Southern Tablelands to the South Coast via Clyde Mountain.

Notable features and landmarks[edit]

A small rock cave at "Pooh Bear's Corner" can be found near the top of the Clyde Mountain pass. This was the location of a munitions store during the Second World War that could be detonated to stop passage from the coast to the national capital inland.[3] Dozens of soft toys are placed in the eucalyptus trees along the stretch of road that connects Queanbeyan and Bungendore.[4]

History[edit]

The road through the Clyde Mountain area was surveyed by Thomas Mitchell in 1855.[5]

A punt service across the Clyde River was begun at Nelligen in 1895 linking Batemans Bay to Braidwood. The service continued until 1964 when the Nelligen bridge was completed .[6]

In 2006 construction commenced on Headquarters Joint Operations Command in the Kowen district of the ACT between Bungendore and Queanbeyan. The facility opened in December 2008, and sections of the highway between the HQJOC turnoff and Queanbeyan have progressively been upgraded to cater for the increased traffic.[7]

Road usage[edit]

In 2003, approximately 3,000 vehicles a day were using the highway at Nelligen. From Braidwood (at the Shoalhaven River Bridge) there were about 4,200 cars travelling on the road. Out of Bungendore near Burbong, 5,600 cars were counted each day.[8]

Casualty crash rates on the Kings Highway are 85% higher than the NSW average and road fatalities are 8% higher. A 2005 NRMA Motoring and Services road survey found:[2][9]

  • The rate of people hospitalised after crashes on the Kings Highway is well over the national average. 877 crashes were recorded on Kings Highway over a 10-year period, an average of about one crash every four days. Over this time there have been 24 fatal crashes, 355 crashes resulting in injury and 488 crashes resulting in property damage. The rate was worse than this in 2004, when there were 103 crashes resulting in six fatalities and 53 injuries.
  • Crashes on the Kings Highway have cost A$42.65 million over the past three years – that’s equivalent to nearly A$39,000 every day.
  • Safety: particular concerns over Clyde Mountain, and only 5% of road deemed to provide "safe" overtaking opportunities. Two blackspots (one in Eurobodalla and one in Palerang) and sixteen blacklengths (nine in Eurobodalla, six in Palerang and one in Queanbeyan City) were identified. The 40 kilometres (25 mi) section of road over the Great Dividing Range – which includes Clyde Mountain – recorded the highest number of crashes, with 22% of all incidents occurring in this area.
  • The most common type of crash – 18% of all incidents – was when a vehicle leaves the road to the left on a right hand bend and crashes into a stationary object. Head-on collisions made up one in 10 of all crashes. Crashes occurred most frequently on Sundays (20%) and least frequently on Tuesdays (9%).

Major intersections and towns[edit]

Kings Highway
Westbound Distance to
Canberra
(km)
Distance to
Batemans Bay
(km)
Eastbound
End Kings Highway (Canberra Avenue)


continues as 'Canberra Avenue
to Canberra City Centre / Belconnen / Yass

7.5 141.5 Start Kings Highway (Canberra Avenue)
from Canberra Avenue
To
Ipswich Street Australia W3-3.svg Canberra International Airport
Tuggeranong, Cooma
Monaro Highway Grade Separated Intersection Australia W3-3.svg
To Gungahlin, Goulburn, Sydney;
Fyshwick
Newcastle Street Canberra International Airport
Woden, Tuggeranong
Hindmarsh Drive Australia W3-3.svg
9 140 Fyshwick
Newcastle Street
Woden, Tuggeranong
Hindmarsh Drive Australia W3-3.svg
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
STATE BORDER
NEW SOUTH WALES
QUEANBEYAN-BOMBALA RAIL LINE 12 137 QUEANBEYAN-BOMBALA RAIL LINE
To Cooma, Bombala
Lanyon Drive Australia R1-3.svg
13.5 135.5 To Cooma, Bombala
Lanyon Drive Australia R1-3.svg
Queanbeyan 15.5 133.5 Queanbeyan
Sutton
Yass Road Australia R1-3.svg Canberra International Airport
16.5 132.5 Sutton
Yass Road Australia R1-3.svg Canberra International Airport
Captains Flat
Captains Flat Road High Speed Intersection
19.5 129.5 Captains Flat
Captains Flat Road High Speed Intersection
CANBERRA-SYDNEY RAIL LINE 25 124 CANBERRA-SYDNEY RAIL LINE
NEW SOUTH WALES
STATE BORDER
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
STATE BORDER
NEW SOUTH WALES
Tarago, Goulburn
Tarago Road High Speed Intersection
40.5 108.5 Tarago, Goulburn
Tarago Road High Speed Intersection
Bungendore 41 108 Bungendore
CANBERRA-SYDNEY RAIL LINE
Level Crossing
41.2 107.8 CANBERRA-SYDNEY RAIL LINE
Level Crossing
Tarago, Goulburn
Braidwood Road High Speed Intersection
62 87 Tarago, Goulburn
Braidwood Road High Speed Intersection
Nerriga, Nowra
Nerriga Road High Speed Intersection
88 61 Nerriga, Nowra
Nerriga Road High Speed Intersection
Braidwood 89 60 Braidwood
Nelligen 140 9 Nelligen
Start Kings Highway 148 1 End Kings Highway
Australia R1-3.svg Roundabout (clockwise from highway)
Princes Highway to Ulladulla, Nowra and Sydney
Peninsula Drive
Princes Highway to Batemans Bay, Moruya and Bega

Gallery[edit]

The Kings Highway road bridge (right) at the location of the former punt service across the Clyde River at Nelligen, NSW.

See also[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Route 52". NSW National Routes. Ozroads.com.au. Retrieved 2008-01-14. [self-published source]
  2. ^ a b "Research highlights costly Kings Highway crashes". ABC News. Australia. 20 October 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Dunn, Peter. "DEMOLITION OF OUR HARBOURS, AIRFIELDS, ROADS AND OTHER IMPORTANT INSTALLATIONS". www.ozatwar.com. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Harden, Fred (25 March 2004). "Bear Spotting". Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Cumpston, J.H.L. (2007) [1954]. Thomas Mitchell: Surveyor General and Explorer. Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook. eBook No.: 0700531h.html. "The final evidence--lamentably too final--of his tendency to do everything himself was his personal presence, in his sixty-fourth year, at the survey of a road through that rugged Clyde Mountain region: work which might well have been entrusted to his surveyors. ... Having contracted a chill when supervising the survey of a road from Braidwood to Nelligen, he developed broncho-pneumonia and died at his home, "Carthona" at Darling Point on 5 October 1855, in his sixty-fourth year." 
  6. ^ "Brief history of Nelligen, Batemans Bay and the Clyde River on the Eurobodalla South Coast, NSW Australia". Clyde River Houseboats. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  7. ^ "Inquiry into the Provision of Facilities for Headquarters Joint Operations Command, NSW (Chapter 3)" (pdf). Joint Standing Committee on Public Works. Parliament of Australia. 2004. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  8. ^ "Traffic Volume Data for Southern Region 2003: Annual Average Daily Traffic for MAIN ROAD NO.51 - BATEMANS BAY-QUEANBEYAN" (PDF). Traffic Management Branch. New South Wales Road Traffic Authority. 2004. pp. 14–15. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  9. ^ "Report on Southern NSW and ACT Roads" (PDF). NRMA Motoring and Services. [dead link][dead link]