Authorities to ramp up investment in rest areas

Published: August 22, 2021

The relative scarcity of rest areas on many major routes – and the quality of the ones that are there – has long been a bone of contention for grey nomads who are constantly being urged not to drive while tired.

While there is still a long way to go in this regard, there are encouraging signs that the various levels of government are ramping up their efforts.

The WA Government announced earlier this year is was to improve up to 17 rest areas at a cost of $14m. Now, nearly $13m has been allocated to improving rest areas in Queensland, thanks to the Rest Area Upgrade Program funded jointly by the state and federal governments.

Assistant road safety and freight transport minister, Scott Buchholz, said improving these facilities was critical.

“These upgrades are going to provide better rest stops and increase capacity to encourage road users to stop, revive and survive,” he said. “We know managing fatigue helps reduce the risk of crashes on our roads.”

Research has consistently shown there is a link between the number of rest areas on a stretch of road and the number of fatigue-related accidents it sees.

And the perceived shortage of suitable rest areas has previously resulted is some conflict between truckies and grey nomads.

Queensland assistant regional roads minister, Bruce Saunders, said there was no doubt that driver fatigue was a killer on our roads.

“Over the past five years, fatigue has played a role in crashes on Queensland roads that have claimed 31 lives and seriously injured 462 people,” he said. “Modern and well-maintained rest areas encourage drivers to stop and take that break, so that’s why investments like this are so important.”

  • Have you ever struggled to find a suitable stopping place when feeling tired on a drive? Is there a particular road, or stretch of road, where you think new, or improved, rest areas are desperately needed? Comment below.
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11 months ago

$500,000 per single rest area!
Seems as if a road engineer has got hold of the cheque book.

11 months ago

The term rest area needs to be better determined.
Qld is bottom of the pack for rest areas and most existing ones are hopelessly inadequate, being merely pull over spots, you are sometimes lucky not to get your door knocked off.
To qualify as a rest area, they must be back off the road and large enough for multiple large vehicles and vans with toilet facilities and room to walk about safely.
Most states are progressing along these lines Qld is still in the past and needs to lift its game.

4 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Have seen this first hand. QLD is currently just so far behind.

11 months ago

Instead of budgeting for a few ‘modern and well maintained rest areas’, how about we have lots of ‘plain and well maintained rest areas’?

Emphasis on ‘lots’ and ‘well maintained’!

11 months ago
Reply to  Zol

Yes. Spot on
Better to have numerous simple rest areas than a handful of fancy ones
All that is needed it a level open pad away from the road. That’s it

11 months ago

Will believe it when i see it. Wonder what year they will start?

John Walker
11 months ago

We are Queenslanders currently travelling in MH in WA and have been impressed with the rest areas provided by Main Roads which allow overnight stops. Many have dump points (some have multiple). In addition many RV friendly towns have great RV short stay areas either free or low cost, usually maintained by the local shire or sometimes just by local progress associations etc. Well done WA!

11 months ago
Reply to  John Walker

Agreed, WA has improved rest areas with toilets and dump points over the past few years, particularly heading along northern routes that are very isolated – good job Main Roads Dept. Three years ago I crossed the Nullarbor and found reasonable rest areas with facilities in WA, but in SA there were rest areas lacking toilet facilities. Maybe this has since been improved.

11 months ago

Bloody hell you are worried about rest areas,all of us Queenslander s have..been trying to get the goat tracks they call roads fixed for the best of British luck with that.regards Stevo

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