Napoleons families frustrated over school road crossing rejection

FAMILIES from Napoleons Primary School remain frustrated at roads authorities after a request to construct a formal school road crossing was rejected. 

Victoria’s Roads Minister Terry Mulder was forwarded a petition of almost 300 signatures in March this year, but said the crossing area on Ballarat-Colac Road did not meet VicRoads’ guidelines for an upgrade because it carried less than 10,000 vehicles per day. 

Napoleons Primary School principal Trevor Edwards said the community would continue to bring the safety concern to light, having lobbied for electronic speed limit signs and a delineated crossing for four years.

“It’s frustrating because safety is a key component from our perspective but it seems it’s not being supported,” Mr Edwards said.

“The parents are too apprehensive for their children to cross that part of the road and I don’t blame them. It’s a community issue and I fear that if nothing is going to be done, it could end tragically.”

The Ballarat-Colac Road has a 100km/h speed limit which reduces to 60km/h in Napoleons and finally to 40km/h in the school zone.

VicRoads south-western regional director William Tieppo said VicRoads installed extra school speed limit signs in March after meeting representatives of the school community and Golden Plains Shire.

He said improvements such as the installation of a formal school crossing was to be assessed by the Golden Plains Shire. 

“At this time, VicRoads has not committed funding for electronic school speed signs at this location,” he said.

“VicRoads has installed electronic school speed limit signs in 60 km/h speed zones at locations where the traffic volume is greater than 10,000 vehicles per day.

“The traffic volume at this location is 3000 vehicles per day.”

Ballarat East MP Geoff Howard said he had corresponded with the roads minister and shire council about the issue on several occasions, but to no avail.

He said there was a tendency for traffic, including heavy vehicles, to enter the school zone at excessive speeds.

“There is nothing to indicate a crossing at all, not even any white lines across the road,” Mr Howard said.

“Although they can have signage saying the cars need to slow down to 40km/h at the crossing, they are not prepared to erect flashing lights to help highlight that for motorists and ensure a greater perception of safety.

“I will continue to advocate for common sense to prevail and for the Napoleons school community to gain the sensible safety measures they seek.”

dellaram.vreeland@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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