Campaigners seeking a roundabout at the Woods Road/Murray Valley Highway intersection have been told by VicRoads that other locations have a “higher priority” for safety improvements.FIONA BLICK May 13, 2014 3:19pm
VicRoads Regional Director North Eastern Victoria Bryan Sherritt wrote in a letter to local campaigner Jeanette Beattie that there had been just two casualty crashes at the intersection in the last five years.
“Requests for safety improvements are considered on a region wide and state wide basis with priority given to works at locations with a history of casualty crashes,” Mr Sherritt said in the letter.
“At this time VicRoads considers that there are other locations where safety improvements would have a higher priority.
“VicRoads has no current proposals to construct a roundabout at this intersection.”
But all may not be lost with Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy seeking a meeting between himself, VicRoads and roundabout campaigners.
Mrs Beattie organised a petition for a roundabout at the intersection following a collision late last year that left driver, Yarrawonga man Austin Sidebottom, in hospital with serious internal injuries.
This followed an earlier serious accident at the intersection involving an elderly woman, Stella Martin, who suffered fractures and severe bruising.
Austin’s mother Wendy told the Yarrawonga Chronicle she understood there would always be a risk of traffic accidents on busy roads but insisted “we can at least try to minimise them and the impact they have on the community”.
She said she believed a roundabout could achieve that risk reduction.
Jeanette joined Wendy’s calls for a roundabout as she works close to the Woods Road intersection and has to cross the Murray Valley Highway most days.
“At times, especially during school hours, the road becomes very difficult to cross,” Ms Beattie said.
“I have also noticed a large number of near misses and a few accidents on this corner.
“I have watched small children trying to cross there which is frighting at times.
“After Austin Sidebottom’s accident, his mother Wendy and I discussed the idea of running the petition.”
Ms Beattie praised Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy who sent her a copy of how to set a petition up and made sure the wording was correct.
“I would like to thank Mr McCurdy for all his help and support,” she said.
“I would also like to thank the community who signed the petition and the business owners who allowed me to leave copies of the petition in their businesses.”
More than 1,300 signatures were collected with a further 228 online petitions completed in support of a roundabout at the Woods Road/Murray Valley Highway intersection and sent to Tim McCurdy to present to state parliament.
Mr McCurdy confirmed he had received the signed petitions and told the Chronicle the petition was tabled in parliament last Thursday morning.
“This petition will now be handed over to Terry Mulder, Minister for Public Transport and Roads,” Mr McCurdy said.
Mr McCurdy also spoke with Ms Beattie last week and said he will be requesting a meeting between himself, Bryan Sherritt, Moira Shire and roundabout petition organsiers so they could “explain their case in person”.
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