Opinion

Letters to the Editor

by
March 05, 2018

Close corner to B-doubles

Alan Wilson

Shepparton

Greater Shepparton City Council has taken responsibility for classifying Ford Rd in north Shepparton as suitable for B-double transports.

It is time for council to take responsibility for the extra danger arising from that decision.

The Shepparton Bypass road carries a large volume of traffic and intersects with a number of cross roads.

Seven of those cross roads, from Archer Rd in the south through to New Dookie Rd in the north have road safety aids, such as roundabouts, centre and side turning lanes and double lines to restrict overtaking.

The eighth, on the north end, is Ford Rd.

Nothing there at all.

No roundabout, no turning lanes and speeds up to 80km/h.

In addition, the corner is so tight that trucks have to travel onto the other side of the road to negotiate the turn.

Last year, council dismissed the concern of residents, with words to the effect that it is okay for trucks to travel onto the wrong side of the road to negotiate a turn and that there had only been one fatality at that corner.

A few weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to see the addition of a double line at this intersection to restrict overtaking.

However, my joy was short lived.

On my first journey past the new paint, a following car crossed the double line and overtook me at speed just as I slowed to negotiate the sharp corner.

So much for paint.

Anyone watching this corner during peak times can see that this intersection is exceedingly dangerous.

It has high volumes of trucks and fast cars anxious to speed north, many exceeding the 80km/h speed limit.

These interact with turning traffic that must slow to about 20km/h to take the turn.

I am aware of two collisions at this corner last November and December.

Add in not infrequent B-doubles trying to negotiate the corner and expecting oncoming traffic to back up.

The recently added painted line is a recognition by someone that action is needed.

The major work required at this corner will take big bucks, but little things can be done right away.

One is that council should immediately close this corner to B-double transports.

Another is that the ‘‘safety’’ camera that operates from time to time along Ford Rd, might turn its attention to a real safety problem.

The council has so far fobbed off the Ford Road Action Group with ‘‘It’s okay, only one fatality’’.

How many fatalities are enough to achieve action?

Paint is useful, but clearly not enough.

I hope that the community will add their support for some action.

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