Australia: 'U-turns, reversing, standstills': Drivers struggle with new tunnel - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia'U-turns, reversing, standstills': Drivers struggle with new tunnel

07:31  15 july  2019
07:31  15 july  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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'U-turns, reversing, standstills': Drivers struggle with new tunnel© 9News Sydney drivers have been spotted struggling with the city's new M4 Westconnex Tunnel after it opened just days ago. Some Sydney drivers have struggled to negotiate the new M4 Westconnex Tunnel, performing illegal U-turns, cutting across traffic, and reversing on a motorway during the first peak-hour commute.

For the most part, the traffic ran smoothly this morning - the first test of the 5.5 kilometre tunnel from the M4 at Homebush to the City West Link at Haberfield.

But, as many drivers encountered the entry and exit points for the first time, some didn't follow signage and got themselves into dangerous predicaments.

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The worst trouble was at the Eastern end of the tunnel, at the Haberfield and Ashfield entrances and exits.

At Ashfield, where drivers can either continue straight on Parramatta Road, or opt for the tolled tunnel, news cameras caught three drivers in a muddle.

9News dashcam vision shows one driver, who decides they're in the wrong lane, and cuts in front of traffic at the last minute, to avoid the tunnel.

Another driver in a blue Porsche SUV who found themselves in the same situation decided to hit the brakes, causing traffic to bank up behind them.

'U-turns, reversing, standstills': Drivers struggle with new tunnel© 9News Motorists have been seen blocking traffic, cutting in front of other cars and performing illegal U-turns after missing turn-offs and not reading signage.

Despite a frustrated honk from a truck stuck behind, the driver stays at a standstill with their hazard lights on, until two cars behind them back up out of the way.

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One bus driver in China has stunned the internet by making what looks to be the most impossible u - turn with a bus. While the roadway seemed about as wide as the bus was long, the driver used his expert skills to wield the giant vehicle and ultimately get his passengers somewhere safe.

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The driver in the blue Porsche then slowly reverses out of the tunnel entrance, and then continues on Parramatta Road.

The whole incident took a full minute to resolve, with other drivers having to go around the standstill.

A similar issue happened earlier, with a small black hatchback. The driver takes out a makeshift bollard splitting the lanes, as they try to reverse.

'U-turns, reversing, standstills': Drivers struggle with new tunnel© 9News The worst trouble was at the Eastern end of the tunnel, at the Haberfield and Ashfield entrances and exits.

On a second attempt, they hit the bollards again before, third time lucky, the driver is able to reverse straight enough to get around the bollards.

Over at Haberfield, where drivers exit the tunnel onto Wattle Street - which leads into the City West Link - 9News spotted several drivers making illegal U-turns at the traffic lights.

Others were turning right onto a side street, so they could complete a legal U-turn, and get back on track.

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While you may have covered U - turns in your drivers ed course, they are a driving maneuver that really needs to be practiced from behind the wheel to get down pat. U - turning is turning your car 180 degrees onto a street that goes in the opposite direction.

When stopped, one driver told 9News, he had missed the exit while in the tunnel, and would have to double back.

'U-turns, reversing, standstills': Drivers struggle with new tunnel© 9News For the most part, traffic ran smoothly on the new 5.5-kilometre stretch of the M4, however some drivers were caught putting themselves and others in dangerous predicaments.

"I missed the turnoff to go onto Concord road," he said.

"There's not enough signage."

Another man, who also had to turn around, said he also missed the exit but praised how fast the route underground is, compared to sitting in stop-start traffic on Parramatta Road.

"Very quick, just four minutes," he said.

The M4 East opened early on Saturday morning, and is the first of four tunnels in the new Westconnex network.

'U-turns, reversing, standstills': Drivers struggle with new tunnel© 9News The M4 East opened early on Saturday morning, and is the first of four tunnels in the new Westconnex network.

It has been tolled from day one, despite the NRMA calling for a toll-free period of one month, to allow drivers to try before they buy.

Despite the mishaps captured by news crews, Premier Gladys Berejiklian insists the opening has been smooth.

"So far, so good," she said.

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'U-turns, reversing, standstills': Drivers struggle with new tunnel© 9News Despite the mishaps captured by news crews, Premier Gladys Berejiklian insists the opening has been smooth.

"The vast majority of motorists have had a smooth run in, but we have seen some confused. So we will look to see if there are any opportunities where we need to improve signage, especially at night."

Ms Berejiklian admits the real test will come next week, when school students return from holidays and peak hour returns to normal.

"We do expect it to take some weeks and months before people really get used to the new traffic conditions," she said.

Eight drug drivers allegedly caught in SA school zones in two days.
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