Lack of footpath worries Kialla residents

By John Lewis

Kialla residents have raised safety concerns over the lack of a footpath connecting homes to the nearby Riverside Plaza shopping centre.

Residents believe young families with children as well as elderly people and schoolchildren using Buckworth St are in danger of being struck by cars or delivery trucks.

Buckworth St runs adjacent to Goulburn Valley Hwy from Taig Ave to Riverview Dve.

“Something needs to be done before someone gets killed,” nearby resident Iris Taylor said.

Mrs Taylor and husband John were among a group of eight residents from the area who gathered on the street yesterday urging Greater Shepparton City Council to prioritise completion of footpaths leading to the busy shopping centre.

Residents pointed to a footpath on the western side of the street which finished at the end of a housing block, meaning walkers then had to negotiate a muddy grass verge or walk on the road to continue.

On the other side of the street, residents said they again had to use a muddy grass verge as well as dodge delivery trucks and utes accessing the rear of businesses fronting Aitken Ct.

“It's very dangerous. If I take my granddaughter to the shops we have to walk in the road and we get splashed by cars going through the big puddles,” Freedom Place Village resident Helen Clarke said.

Residents said they had alerted the council to the issues but had not received a reply.

The council's infrastructure director Phil Hoare said further housing was needed to install a footpath on the western side of Buckworth St.

“The time-frame for the construction of this footpath is dependent on the development of the land,” Mr Hoare said.

Meanwhile, Mr Hoare suggested residents heading to Riverside Plaza used a footpath linking to Taig Ave and then a shared path along GV Hwy.

Young parents Cosimo and Rita Rando said they used Buckworth St because it was the fastest walking route to the shops with their baby daughter.

“With the pusher it does get tricky. There are other footpaths, but this is the quickest,” Mr Rando said.

He said night-time was particularly dangerous with poor lighting and pedestrians often walking in the middle of the road.

Mr Taylor said children walking home from school used Buckworth St during its busiest time.

“It gets very busy around here at knock-off time. Someone could get seriously hurt,” Mr Taylor said.