Speed limit increased, residents fear accident at busy insection

A BUSY intersection has become even more dangerous since the highway speed limit was increased, with residents fearing a serious accident could occur. 

Geoff Howard MP and Magpie Primary School parents at the Midland Highway intersection.

Geoff Howard MP and Magpie Primary School parents at the Midland Highway intersection.

The intersection of Docwra and Prince streets and the Midland Highway in Sebastopol is only a short walk from Magpie Primary School and is often busy with parents coming to and from the school. 

School council president Tracey Hart said the intersection had become worse after an increase in the speed limit. 

“Now the speed limit has been increased to 80, nobody really takes any notice. They just come flying through. It will be a fatality before long,” she said. “At 60, they don’t care, at 40 they do a bit, but at 80 now they are just flying. The trucks are incredible.”

Ms Hart said either traffic lights or a roundabout would be ideal to solve the problem. 

The change was part of a review of speed limits across Victoria and was one of many changes in Ballarat designed to phase out 90km/h and 70km/h limits. 

“It is terrible. If you are going straight over to the school and people are turning, they don’t care and just cross in front of you,” Ms Hart said. “So it is only a matter of time before someone is hurt or is killed.” 

VicRoads regional director Ewen Nevett said feedback had been received on this section of road. 

“This urban fringe section of Midland Highway met the guidelines for an increase to 80km/h, given the road section has a very wide, open reservation that provides good access visibility, has minimal pedestrian activity and low crash history,” he said. 

Ballarat East MP Geoff Howard raised the issue in state parliament recently, asking for it to be addressed. 

“It certainly is a dangerous intersection,” he said. 

“I have been lobbying to see this intersection reviewed and upgraded to perhaps be a candidate for traffic lights or a roundabout so that it is going to be safer.” 

Mr Howard said he had been talking to the Opposition roads spokesperson and was hoping to get a commitment to fix the situation, while Liberal candidate for Buninyong Ben Taylor said he was aware of the issue.

“It is on my agenda after door knocking the area and I have already had discussions about it,” he said.

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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