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Kialla school council seeks action on highway crossing underpass

By James Bennett

Concerned Kialla West Primary School parents and staff are continuing their calls for an underpass at the school's Goulburn Valley Hwy crossing.

The parents’ council has sent letters to Greater Shepparton City Council, VicRoads and parliamentarians, thanking them for the attention given last year but reminding them the next step is action.

The parents’ council says an underpass is the safest option for students to cross the highway, after a serious incident in 2018 where children were nearly hit by a car.

The letter said although the preliminary road safety checks were appreciated, construction of an underpass must happen as soon as possible.

“We also, however, appreciate that the substantial safety solution (identified as an underpass) is yet to be fully costed and fully funded,” the letter said.

“We ask that our council be informed on how it may contribute to this solution as a priority project.

“In addition, we ask how we may now convey progress on an underpass to our school community, who are fully aware of the risks of drop-off/pick-up every day — and particularly since the horrific accident that led to this letter.”

Parents’ council president Jamie Gilbert said complacency from drivers resulted in slower reaction times from those travelling north.

“Many have their cruise control set because they've been travelling at the same speed along the Hume Hwy and Goulburn Valley Hwy,” he said.

“Drivers need to slow from 100km/h to 80km/h then drop to 40km/h at school times and it can be quite challenging.

“The danger is still present and the only possible outcome is an underpass to minimise any risk to families and children crossing the road.”

Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell spoke in parliament this week about the crossing, calling for the Victorian Government to provide funding for the underpass.