Fix our ‘accident waiting to happen’
‘‘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.