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Car counter timing is counterintuitive, say residents

A car counter placed on McSwains Rd during the holiday period is not measuring the road's traffic accurately, its residents say.

JESS CRAIG January 10, 2014 4:38am

The car counter on McSwains Rd.


 

Campaspe Shire is being accused of ignoring the levels of traffic on McSwains Rd after placing a car counter on the road during the holiday period.

McSwains Rd is one of the main roads used by families who have children at Echuca West Primary School.

The counter, between the Northern Hwy and Stratton Rd, has been in place during the school holidays when traffic is lighter.

Frustrated McSwains Rd resident Anne Hayes believes the shire would be getting a ‘‘false reading’’ of the number of cars and buses which travel on the road, because the counter is not picking up numbers from a normal school week.

‘‘If they were to put the counter down during a normal school week they would get a true reading of the number of cars that use McSwains Rd,’’ she said.

‘‘Obviously the shire don’t want an accurate reading so they don’t have to improve the condition of the road.’’

Campaspe Shire infrastructure delivery manager John McCartney said council regularly monitored the amount of traffic on its road networks to help officers with a variety of issues.

‘‘The traffic counter was in place to do a scheduled traffic count...(They are used) for things such as customer requests, possible capital works projects, the design of road surfaces and monitoring changing traffic patterns and loads,’’ he said.

Mrs Hayes said on a school day, between 8.30am and 9am, the road is extremely busy, with some cars forced to drive partly off-road to pass other vehicles.

‘‘The side of the road has potholes and we have seen school buses actually stop whilst a car goes past so they don’t have to continue driving along the potholed edge,’’ she said.

She also criticised the shire’s timing for grading the road, saying it is ‘‘always done’’ just after rain.

‘‘The condition of the road deteriorates immediately...The cars go along it again, leaving massive potholes and grooves in the dirt,’’ she said.

Mr McCartney said McSwains Rd was graded in mid-December, before the rain.

‘‘The rain caused some loose material to become slippery,’’ he said.

‘‘Advisory signs were put up when council became aware of the potential hazard, alerting drivers to the situation.

‘‘The shoulders have now been scheduled for additional maintenance grading.’’

Mrs Hayes said that with a new housing estate planned for McSwains Rd, she would like to see shire staff ‘‘out of their office’’ and aware of how busy the road is.

‘‘Come out and see how busy it is on a school morning. Come see the amount of near misses with cars turning and crossing the intersection of the highway, McSwains Rd and Rose St,’’ she said.

 

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