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The verdict is in: the worst roads in NSW

Kings Highway between Braidwood and Bungendore.

Kings Highway between Braidwood and Bungendore. Photo: Chris Lane

Motorists have voted the Pacific Highway the worst road in NSW for the third year in a row.

The Kings Highway at Braidwood came in at number six, and the Barton Highway at Murrumbateman was number eight.

More than 10,000 motorists from NSW and the ACT were questioned by the NRMA, which is campaigning for better roads.

Murrumbateman locals Bill Bladwell and right  Peter  McGinnley on the notorious Barton Highway, pictured here in 2010.

Murrumbateman locals Bill Bladwell and right Peter McGinnley on the notorious Barton Highway, pictured here in 2010. Photo: Kate Leith

Just under seven per cent (6.7 per cent) voted the Pacific Highway the worst road in the state in terms of congestion, insufficient lanes and bad road surface.

It was followed by Parramatta Road (4.7 per cent) and Pennant Hills Road (4.4 per cent).

NRMA Motoring and Services president Wendy Machin said it was unacceptable that duplication of the highway was still unfinished, more than 20 years after horrific bus crashes at Kempsey and Grafton.

"However, significant funding from both levels of government has been allocated to the Pacific Highway after it was consistently flagged the worst road by motorists in NRMA's annual Seeing Red on Roads campaign," she said.

Almost 10 per cent of road users said Parramatta Road was Sydney's worst road, ahead of Pennant Hills Road and the M4 Western Motorway.

The 10 worst roads in NSW

  1. Pacific Highway at Urunga
  2. Parramatta Road at Concord
  3. Pennant Hills Road at Pennant Hills
  4. Princes Highway at Albion Park
  5. Bells Line Of Road at Bilpin
  6. Kings Highway at Braidwood
  7. M4 Western Motorway at Granville
  8. Barton Highway at Murrumbateman
  9. Bucketts Way at Krambach
  10. Mount Hay Road at Leura



  • It would be interesting to see these figures pro-rated by usage - I expect the Kings and Barton Hwys would rank much higher.

    Date and time
    July 24, 2013, 1:10PM
    • I have driven the Kings Highway well over 500 times. My observation is that the road itself is fine. Driver behaviour is the issue - but not what you might think. Two basic principles - (1) Watch your mirrors and if traffic builds behind you, then let them pass... it adds 20 seconds to your trip and saves others many times over... AND slow down on overtaking lanes. (2) If you are behind someone and don't want to overtake, leave a gap so others can do so safely. This would greatly reduce the need for risky overtaking and reduce frustration levels.

      Date and time
      July 24, 2013, 1:12PM
      • Totally agree (esp. re need for better driver behaviour in overtaking lanes), but there are aspects of the King's Highway (and the Snowy Mts Highway as well) that encourage poor driver behaviour, much of it seemingly due to inability (frequently male) to control a need to go faster and not be 'stuck' behind anyone (who might actually be doing the speed limit). Many sections of these highways have inadequate shoulders and infrequent safe overtaking opportunities, resulting in impatient drivers taking chances. All of this has implications for driver training, esp. with P-plate drivers not understanding that a range of factors will make that rite-of-passage trip to the coast fraught with danger.

        Date and time
        July 24, 2013, 2:10PM
      • As a professional heavy vehicle driver I find your comments astounding, and go against all training I have recieved both here and in Germany as a heavy vehicle driver. The Kings Highway is fine - the only problem is the risky behaviour you are encouraging, and the impatience of the poorly trained individuals who use this road as a speedway to the bay every weekend. If you get frustrated by slower vehicles in front of you - then don't drive - you don't have the correct temperament.

        Alex W
        Date and time
        July 24, 2013, 2:41PM
      • Alex W,

        It sounds like you may be the problem.
        If you think it is absurd to be courteous to other drivers then that is poor behaviour!

        The Anti Raider
        Date and time
        July 24, 2013, 4:21PM
      • So Alex W we should all speed up in overtaking lanes, don't think you are much of a professional. Totally agree with Pado - if you cant travel at 100km/h and have traffic banked up behind you then pull over and let others past otherwise (as in the words of Alex) ... you dont have the correct temperament... to be on the roads.

        Date and time
        July 24, 2013, 6:13PM
      • @Alex W: are you really in favour (really?) of people driving well under the speed limit, only to speed up to that limit the moment an overtaking lane is reached? Thus slowing everyone down then preventing them from overtaking safely and legally by deliberately or cluelessly making it difficult or impossible to overtake on sections of road provided for exactly that purpose. Certainly people should control their frustration and remain calm and safe, despite poor behaviour by others. But does that mean we should encourage or endorse that poor behaviour? I think not.


        Mike F
        Cheltenham, NSW
        Date and time
        July 25, 2013, 9:08AM
    • Barton Hwy no longer supports the population using it. Result will be more crashes and sadly - fatalities. Duplication to Yass is well beyond due.

      Outraged of Palmerston
      Date and time
      July 24, 2013, 2:08PM
      • For gods sake there is nothing wrong with these roads, they are fine, they are not spread with black spots, the only black spots are between the road users ears and that is a fact of life.
        I have travelled a squillion miles across, around this country in the last 52 years and have not had an accident nor anyone travelling with me due to driving to the conditions and 100yds ahead of yourself.

        OLD DOG
        Date and time
        July 24, 2013, 2:27PM
        • Barton Highway & Kings Highway are pretty bad in some parts, though probably not as haphazard as other roads like Gympie Highway in Queensland. If there were more direct routes out to Tumut and Albury from ACT, people wouldn't need to go all the way north up to Yass before going southwards. It would boost the local economy and save time and money in the long-term.

          Date and time
          July 24, 2013, 3:57PM

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