December 17, 2013

Buninyong School Crossing Upgrade Overdue

State MP for Ballarat East visited Buninyong oday to talk with parents and students at Buninyong Primary School about the rgent need to upgrade the school crossing on the Buninyong hill.

 “This is a high risk crossing,” declared Mr Howard, “as traffic, including trucks can often come down the hill into Buninyong too fast.”

Members of the School community as well as members of the Buninyong Progress Association, have, over recent years, emphasized their concern over pedestrian safety in Buninyong, especially as it relates to the busy Midland Highway where Buninyong is on the main thoroughfare from Geelong through to Ballarat and Sebastopol.

Although speed limit signage does indicate a drop to 80 km/h and then 60km/h for traffic entering Buninyong, many vehicles do not slow down quickly enough and with the school crossing coming ahead of the shopping precinct, drivers often come upon it without being aware of the risk.

“Parents have shared with me again today that only last week a group of students and parents were threatened when a B-double truck went through the crossing because he had not breaked early enough when it came down the hill.”

Mr. Howard said that with modern electronic flashing signage available and installed ahead of many other school crossings, the installation of this technology is overdue in Buninyong.

“I have written to the Minister for roads on several occasions and have also raised the issue in Parliament but the inister’s responses have been inadequate.”

Initially I was advised that the rossing was ineligible for the flashing signage under VicRoads policy because uninyong Primary school is not actually located on the Highway.

I then pointed out to the Minister hat this was not the case where other flashing signs have been installed ncluding the example of signage in Sebastopol near Magpie Primary school.

I was also advised in 2011 that VcRoads had commissioned a trial of ‘remote crossing speed zones’ and that his trial would influence future government policy at these crossings.

“Several letters later and a request or action made in Parliament and still the Minister has not indicated he is repared to act.”

Earlier this year the Minister wrote o advise that he was awaiting further information from a review of 40km/h peed zones, including at ‘remote school crossings’ and a Buninyong Traffic mpact Study before taking further action.

Mr Howard said that such delays were otally unsatisfactory and action was needed.

He called on the Minister to act now.

“The school community would be put uch more at ease if the school crossing is made safer for the start of the ext school year,” Mr. Howard said.