Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Williams to fight to keep crossing's flashing lights

The issue of flashing lights at Moama's Meninya St pedestrian crossing has been ongoing since they were re-installed last year.

JESS CRAIG March 18, 2014 4:50am

Member for Murray-Darling John Williams will be meeting with Murray Shire councillors to discuss a range of issues, including the pedestrian crossing in Moama.

Member for Murray-Darling John Williams will fight for flashing lights to remain at Moama’s Meninya St pedestrian crossing.

His decision will go against that of NSW Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay, who has taken the suggestion of Roads and Maritime Services that the lights be removed.

Having lights on the crossing does not comply with NSW pedestrian crossing standards, but Mr Williams and Murray Shire councillors believe the lights kept people safe as they cross the busy road.

RMS and NSW Police representatives believe the flashing lights should be removed.

RMS has suggested zigzag lines, pedestrian fencing and the removal of some parking spaces to improve safety.

Mr Williams saw the volume of traffic first-hand on Friday.

‘‘The council has explained to me that in peak periods, there can be as many as 19,000 cars through this area in one day,’’ Mr Williams said.

‘‘The flashing lights give drivers awareness that they are approaching something.’’

Mr Williams has made representations to Mr Gay’s chief of staff, and said while he had not received an ‘affirmative answer’, he would support council in its fight to keep the lights.

The issue of flashing lights at the crossing has been ongoing since they were re-installed last year.

Murray Shire councillors are unanimous in their support of the lights.

Most traffic comes from Victoria, where lights are common at crossings, so the lights should remain, the councillors said.

In December last year, the shire sent a submission to Mr Gay about the disputed crossing.

Murray Shire’s local traffic committee has also met with RMS and NSW Police representatives.

The committee’s council representatives — mayor Tom Weyrich, Cr Gavin Burke and Cr Ian Moon — believe the flashing lights should remain.

Cr Burke previously said the flashing lights were essential to public safety and he told the Riv on Friday his position remained the same.

‘‘Not one person I’ve spoken to wants the lights removed,’’ he said.

‘‘I am in favour of the lights for safety reasons.

‘‘The RMS suggestion that pedestrian fencing be put in place instead is not suitable... barriers won’t warn people that there’s a crossing and they will make it hard for elderly people to cross safely.’’

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