Road trains operating on Great Eastern Highway will be restricted to 90 km an hour, Goldfields Minister and Kalgoorlie MLA Ian Taylor said this week.
Mr Taylor said he had received an assurance from Transport Minister Pam Beggs that the lower speed limit would apply to ensure safety for other motorists and minimal damage to the road surface.
"The decision to let road trains operate on the highway between Coolgardie and Northam from next April, is a necessary part of updating our road transport policy," he said.
"It promises a significant reduction in the cost of road freight for country consumers.
"When it comes to an allocation for upgrading Great Eastern Highway in 1993-94, I am confident the Federal Government will take this into account."
Mr Taylor said the Western Australian Government would press for the work to be given sufficient priority for it to be started under the National Highway Program in the new financial year.
"There is no doubt that there are areas where the road needs widening and others where passing lanes need to be constructed," he said.
"Great Eastern Highway is a major freight link from the Eastern States, through Kalgoorlie-Boulder to Perth and any plans our city has of becoming a major through-freight centre will include an upgrading of the highway as a priority.
"Widening and upgrading the highway east of Northam will cost around $40 million over five years."
"In the meantime, Main Roads is currently spending $3 million on major repair and reconstruction to the highway out of Northam."
Mr Taylor said lifting of commodity restrictions on Great Eastern Highway would not see the route overrun with road trains.
"Some road trains do operate on the highway now and any increase in road train numbers will be offset by a decline in semi-trailer numbers," he said.
"The decision to allow road trains to operate on the highway from next April was made on the advice of Main Roads engineers who know the road and local traffic conditions."