Fix our ‘ac­ci­dent wait­ing to hap­pen’

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

‘‘Some­thing needs to be done be­fore some­body is killed.’’

That is the mes­sage from a group of Strath­mer­ton res­i­dents sick of see­ing lives be­ing put at risk.

Strath­mer­ton Com­mu­nity Steer­ing Group chair Bernard Mur­ray said for too long res­i­dents had risked be­ing run over be­cause of the 80 km/h speed limit along the Mur­ray Val­ley High­way which runs off Main St.

The town’s res­i­dents are stead­fast in the be­lief the speed limit should be low­ered to 60 km/h to en­sure max­i­mum safety.

‘‘For a num­ber of years now the traf­fic sit­u­a­tion has been pro­gres­sively get­ting worse and many dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions oc­cur on a daily ba­sis, es­pe­cially around school times,’’ Mr Mur­ray said.

Af­ter more than two years lob­by­ing Vic Roads to ad­dress the prob­lem, there could fi­nally be some move­ment on the is­sue.

About three weeks ago the steer­ing group met with Moira Shire Coun­cil and VicRoads staff to voice con­cerns and seek ac­tion.

Mr Mur­ray said the meet­ing was pro­duc­tive and it would be a pos­i­tive out­come if the changes dis­cussed were im­ple­mented.

As a re­sult of the meet­ing, the fol­low­ing steps will be taken:

● Moira Shire Coun­cil will mark the pro­posed pedes­trian refuge and ar­range an on-site ac­tiv­ity to ob­serve what is hap­pen­ing at school bus times;

● VicRoads will com­plete a speed re­view and en­gage with the com­mu­nity to get a bet­ter grasp of the prob­lem; and

● VicRoads will in­ves­ti­gate the use of school elec­tronic signs, par­al­lel park­ing on the ser­vice road and look at what could be done to make sure driv­ers were aware of turn-off lanes.

Sev­eral politi­cians were in Strath­mer­ton on Wed­nes­day to see the Main St dangers first­hand and meet with res­i­dents at Cafe´ 3641.

Lib­eral can­di­date for Shepparton Ch­eryl Ham­mer, who sup­ports the group’s push for a safer speed limit, Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Wendy Lovell and Op­po­si­tion roads and in­fra­struc­ture min­is­ter David Hod­gett were in town.

‘‘To­day was very much about lis­ten­ing to com­mu­nity mem­bers, and we will go back and see if we can get some real change here. All the is­sues here are things that can be re­solved with com­mon sense,’’ Mr Hod­gett said.

‘‘They don’t want to wait for a fa­tal­ity here or some in­ci­dent or se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent to say ‘we told you so’ and then have se­ri­ous ac­tion. Do­ing noth­ing is not an op­tion.’’

As well as the 80 km/h speed limit, other is­sues such as buses ar­riv­ing af­ter 4 pm means the 40 km/h speed limit did not ap­ply.

Mr Mur­ray also said bus pickup zone po­si­tions were slightly mis­placed, mak­ing the area un­safe in busy times.

Strath­mer­ton Pri­mary School stu­dents also have to cross the busy road most days to ac­cess the foot­ball oval, which can be a dan­ger­ous propo­si­tion with­out a suit­able cross­ing.

In the fir­ing line: Strath­mer­ton Pri­mary School stu­dents reg­u­larly have to cross the street to use the foot­ball oval, con­tend­ing with traf­fic trav­el­ling at 80 km/h. Stu­dents are pic­tured with Lib­eral can­di­date for Shepparton Ch­eryl Ham­mer.

Mak­ing their voices heard: MP Wendy Lovell, Strath­mer­ton Bak­ery owner Glenda Kelly, Cafe 3641 owner Caro­line Ryan, Ch­eryl Ham­mer, MP David Hod­gett and steer­ing com­mit­tee chair Bernard Mur­ray.

Dan­ger­ous: The Mur­ray Val­ley High­way in Strath­mer­ton, can be a place of peril in busy pe­ri­ods.

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