Midland Highway Sebastopol (Magpie Intersection)
Mr HOWARD (Ballarat East)— I raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Roads. I raise this matter following a number of concerns being raised with me in regard to safety at the intersection of the Midland Highway with Docwra and Prince streets in Sebastopol. This intersection is close to Magpie Primary School and a school crossing has been established near this point. VicRoads has recently raised the speed limit associated with this intersection from the 70 kilometres per hour it previously had attached to it up to 80 kilometres per hour. Residents are concerned that this is an inappropriate change as cars regularly approach this intersection from the south travelling too fast.
Residents believe it would have been much more appropriate, given the nature of this intersection and its proximity to the school crossing, for the road to have attracted a speed limit of 60 kilometres per hour. I therefore ask the minister to review the speed limit change as a matter of urgency, with a view to it being dropped to 60 kilometres per hour for traffic travelling on Albert Street or the Midland Highway in the vicinity of this intersection.
This is the southernmost intersection in Sebastopol, and it would appear appropriate to me that the speed limit be 60 kilometres per hour as this part of the road happens to mark the commencement of the Sebastopol urban area, as well as having, as I said, the Magpie Primary School crossing in the vicinity. Dropping the speed limit is a response that would make complete sense to me, on behalf of all those people who attended a community meeting I held last week at Magpie Primary School.
It was a well-attended meeting, and all of those people who attended, as well as being concerned about the speed limit change, expressed the view that the intersection really needs some significant attention — perhaps by way of establishing traffic lights or possibly a roundabout — to ensure that it is safer. Parents from the school and other residents in the area always feel it is a matter of great risk when they progress from Docwra Street and attempt to either turn onto the Midland Highway or cross over to Prince Street. Having looked at the intersection, I can see the concern there. I look forward to any response the minister is able to make in addressing both the speed issue associated with this area and the long-term upgrade of the intersection.
On a similar matter associated with the change from the 70-kilometre-per-hour speed limit, residents from Buninyong have expressed the concern that as you approach Buninyong towards Winter Street from the Sebastopol end, the speed limit should have been dropped to 60 kilometres per hour also rather than being raised to 80 kilometres per hour.