Wingello residents fear road fatality

Protestors at Wingello want stop signs to replace existing give way signs at the intersection at Railway Parade. Photo by Claire Fenwicke
Nanjing Night Net

RESIDENTSfear someone will die before an intersection gets the attention it needs to ensure safety.

Wingello residents gathered outside the Village Hall on Saturday to urge drivers to slow down along Railway Parade.

A recent car accident at the Railway Parade intersection prompted the protest.

Organiser Simona Angeli said the crossing was “too dangerous” for drivers and pedestrians.

“Do we have to wait for someone to die before we get stop signs here?” she said.

“Who will take responsibility? We’ve been passed between council, the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), rail authority and the state government.”

Mayor Larry Whipper held a private meeting with representatives of the Wingello Village Association (WVA), a representative from Angus Taylor’s office and council traffic engineers on Friday to discuss the residents’ concerns.

WVA president Colin Reed was present at the meeting, and said he had outlined some ideas to make the intersection safer.

“But what is the price of a human life?” he said.

“Lots of people don’t slow down or give way at the intersection, but they have to give way to traffic [coming from] the railway crossing.

“I proposed rumble strips on the road and that the give ways signs be replaced with stop signs.”

The issue has received support from the mayor as well as from deputy mayor Ian Scandrett and councillor Jim Clark, who were present at the village meeting.

Cr Scandrett said the issue of the intersection had been going on for a “very long time”.

“This is a shire-wide issue, we should spend whatever it takes to make the road safe,” he said.

“I’m not an engineer, but this is a main road and all main roads deserve the fullest attention in terms of safety, regardless of the size of the town or the cost.”

A council spokesman said crash data from the RMS showed there had been no crashes attended by police at the railway crossing or the adjoining intersections at Railway Parade or Sydney Street in the five years to June 2015.

“Wingello residents suggest there have been many near misses at the junction of Railway Parade and the rail level crossing [in that five year period] but there is no record kept of these,” he said.

However, two cross-traffic incidents have occurred at the Railway Parade intersection this month.

The latest agenda for council’s local traffic committee, to be discussed July 22, stated the existing street markings would be re-painted.

In the long term, residents have also highlighted the need for a separate railway crossing for pedestrians, as road and foot traffic currently cross the railway line at the same point with no barriers.

Wingello resident Peter Fidler said the intersection was a “death trap”.

The WVA will meet with Goulburn MP Pru Goward later this monthto discuss their concerns with her and seek support from a state government level.

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