ROAD CONGESTION AND ROAD SAFETY ISSUES IN POINT COOK
RESPONSE TO THE COUNCIL DRAFT BUDGET
Submission prepared by Dr Bob Fairclough on behalf of the Point Cook Action Group
The Point Cook Action Group has previously presented a submission to council on the draft budget in May 2017 outlining some serious concerns over subsidence problems along parts of Sneydes Road and safety issues at the intersection of Sneydes and Point Cook Road. Other concerns relate to traffic issues at Wallace Avenue and traffic congestion along Palmers Road and parts of Dunnings Road. Since these issues are still unresolved an update on these outstanding issues are detailed below.
Subsidence issues along Sneydes Road
Since the submission of our report at the last council budget briefing in May 2017 we have received a written response from council on the 27 June 2017 acknowledging the subsidence problems along Sneydes Road. The report from council stated that a geotechnical report has been undertaken which provided options for remedial work. A more recent request from the Harrison Ward councilors, Cr Kim McAliney, Cr Tony Hooper, Cr Aaron An, resulted in a statement from council staff indicating that council are working with VicRoads to consider some options including introducing a temporary speed limit reduction. Council indicated that they were taking into consideration a Geotech report, a check of water levels and testing for the firmness of the road surface. There was a suggestion that an interim treatment be undertaken which would provide a temporary re-habitation of the road. The subsidence problems is a major problem, especially for cars and trucks with trailers given that trailer loads can be spilled when traveling at the speed limit of 70km/hour.
Proposition 1. Whilst the PCAG is aware that council are taking steps to rectify the subsidence problems no remedial works have been undertaken to date. It is imperative that road repairs along Sneydes Road are actioned immediately before more serious accident occur.
Safety issues at the intersection of Sneydes and Point Cook Roads.
The traffic congestion experienced at the intersection of Point Cook Road and Sneydes Road in Point Cook is of considerable concern to residents. Indeed, many motorists consider this intersection to being very dangerous especially when traffic turns right from Sneydes Road into Point Cook Road. The problems with this intersection are compounded by the traffic volumes that show that Point Cook Road is over capacity based on the number of vehicle movements per day. At the eastern end of Sneydes Road the traffic is funnelled from 4 lanes into 2 which also contributes to a major safety issue at this intersection. Following our submission last year to council we have received a response from council stating that this issue has been included in VicRoads Draft Investment Pipeline of projects. It was further indicated that this intersection has been identified as one of three Grey spot intersections in Wyndham. Our request is included in the Wyndham Integrated Transport Strategy policy which states that Wyndham provides a sustainable transport system that maximises safety to residents. The PCAG has also written to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Mr Luke Donnellan, who referred the matter to VicRoads. The subsequent correspondence from the Minister on the 1 November 2017 was positive stating that “VicRoads has evaluated the need for improvements at the Point Cook Road and Sneydes Road intersection and has been working closely with Wyndham City Council to develop a proposal to install traffic lights at this location. However to date, one year after this issue was raised with council, the problems with the intersection have still not been addressed. We do not believe it will be long before there is a fatality at this junction. Urgent action is now needed to upgrade this intersection and install traffic lights.
Proposal 2. Given that the intersection of Sneydes Road and Point Cook Road has been identified as a Grey spot by VicRoads it is imperative that council continue to work with VicRoads to undertake an urgent upgrade of this dangerous intersection and to install traffic lights as soon as possible.
Traffic congestion along Palmers Road South and Dunnings Road
A major issue with motorists leaving Point Cook estates to the city along Palmers Road has been the traffic congestion occurring when vehicles merge from the transit lane to 1 lane just prior to the Forsyth Bridge and traffic congestion at the entrance to the freeway. This issue was also raised at last years council draft budget forum and in a letter sent to the Hon Mr Luke Donnellan, Minister for Roads and Road Safety, in September 2017. The response from VicRoads indicated that a scope of works would be undertaken which includes a widening of arterial roads (Palmers Road) from two lanes to four lanes and the provision of traffic lights on Dunnings Road. A proposal to upgrade the arterial roads and to widen the Forsyth Bridge has included in the State Government budget. There is also a major problem with signal timings at the Forsyth Road bridge which has resulted in cars backing up on the M1 freeway at the intersection with Palmers Road.The PCAG requests that urgency needs to be given to implementing the works outlined in the Ministers letter which indicated that “A contract would be signed by the end of 2017 and works completed by the end of 2021”
Proposal 3. That urgency be given to the upgrade of the Forsyth Bridge and arterial approach roads which will involve a joint action from both Wyndham City Council and VicRoads.
Traffic Congestion Problems along Wallace Avenue.
Shortly after the construction of the Williams Landing railway station the adjacent car parks have struggled to accommodate cars parked close to the station. As a consequence of overcrowded car parks at the eastern end of Wallace Avenue cars have been parked along Wallace Avenue which has effectively caused a narrowing of passage way to cars travelling along Wallace Avenue. One way of reducing the problem would be to provide more free car parking at the western end of Wallace Avenue. There is also concern over the temporary nature of the AEC park as a possible closure of the car park would result in a much reduced car parking capacity at the Williams Landing Railway station.
Proposal 4. That Wyndham City Council, VicRoads and VicRail prepare a master plan that would result in additional parking at Williams Landing railway station.