Solutions wanted for ’unsafe’ roads

Caron Sanni with her son, Shariq (8). (Jacob Pattison) 388615_04

Liam McNally

Melton council said it’s considering projects that would improve traffic flow to the Becca Way and Lancefield Drive education precinct, but a local parent has said waiting for budget deliberations “isn’t good enough”.

Between Becca Way and Lancefield Drive sits an education precinct that includes a high school, two primary schools, childcare, kinder, community centre and football club.

Earlier this month Star Weekly reported that Sydenham MP Natalie Hutchins had called on Melton council to improve traffic flow in the area.

Caron Sanni, who has a son at Springside Primary, said school communities have been calling out for years for roads to be fixed in the area, in August she launched a petition with more than 290 signatures.

Ms Sanni said the area is afflicted with heavily congested roads. She has heard from parents who are arriving at schools forty minutes before children are let out to secure a park, cars are parking over gutters and footpaths, and police were even called to a near-miss incident last year.

“Child safety is our number one priority and we’re not getting the sense of the council taking that seriously.” she said.

Ms Sanni said that the biggest things needed are more parking spaces, and an improvement to recently installed “drop and go zones” which currently have dividers between them requiring cars to reverse parallel park and slow down traffic.

She said more raised children crossings and a higher presence of crossing supervisors are also needed.

Council has recently installed a temporary 25-space gravel car park, but has indicated any further works will require approval through the budget, which is released mid-year.

Melton council engineering and asset services acting manager Matthew Hutchinson said Council is committed to improving traffic and safety around the Becca Way and Lancefield Drive education precinct.

“Officers are designing three raised crossings on Lancefield Drive and other traffic calming works to increase pedestrian safety in the area,” he said.

“A new 50 space car park is also being considered to help reduce congestion. Council will keep the schools and community representatives informed on progress.”

Ms Sanni said this is too long to wait for a commitment that might not come.

“We have no guarantee that we will get the fixes that are urgently needed to address the child safety issues,” she said.

“Even if approved, work will not be undertaken for well over another year to two years. Considering this has been going on now for well over three years, it’s not good enough.”