No highway crossing ‘compromising safety’

February 26, 2018

A local primary school parent is concerned that there is no crossing over the Northern Highway to the new school. Kerry Myers with her two sons Jai and Jack Clarke.

WITH the opening of the Echuca Twin Rivers School last week, Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has echoed local families concerns about crossing safety on the Northern Hwy.

Mr Walsh raised the matter in State Parliament last week as he expressed his concerns for the safety of the students who live in the Echuca South area.

‘‘There were 165 students attending the former Echuca South Primary School who have now transitioned into the new school located in Wilkinson Dve to the west of the highway,’’ Mr Walsh said.

Students are crossing at the traffic lights at Butcher St and at the Ogilvie Ave roundabout, as well as the new crossing on McSwains Rd near Wilkinson Dve.

It comes after Echuca mother Kerry Myers, who lives on the Northern Hwy, said it was hard enough to get across the road in a car let alone on foot.

‘‘A lot of parents aren’t able to drive their kids to and from school every day and we should be encouraging kids to walk or ride to school,’’ she said.

‘‘When I drive, I see a lot of kids walking and riding and I hate to think what could happen when we have even more traffic for the bridge construction.’’

Warren St will close at the start of March for stage two of the Echuca-Moama bridge project, and residents are concerned that will mean more traffic near the new school.

When asked who was responsible for a new crossing and when it could be expected earlier this month, both Campaspe Shire and VicRoads looked at each other.

Campaspe Shire’s infrastructure services general manager Emma Dalton said the council was actively advocating to VicRoads for a crossing.

But VicRoads said its only involvement with the crossing would be after it was built by council and their contractor.

The project has been on the drawing board for two years and Mr Walsh said it’s a disgrace the crossing had not been addressed.

‘‘Some people have been unkind enough to say that VicRoads does not address an issue until there are statistics to claim it should be done,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘Let’s hope and pray this does not turn out to be the case.’’

Mr Walsh said he would pressure Roads Minister Luke Donnellan to have a supervised crossing built as a matter of urgency.

‘‘There is no doubt student safety is being compromised and I am keen to see it addressed as quickly as possible,’’ he said.

‘‘The safety of the students at Twin Rivers is clearly the priority in this matter and it is paramount that every precaution is taken to ensure they are protected from any danger.’’

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