A LONG-running campaign to improve safety at a Mt Eliza traffic black spot has been successful with the area’s federal MP Bruce Billson securing funding for a signalised pedestrian crossing that will also enable cars to trigger the lights.
The $400,000 for signals was revealed in an email Mr Billson sent to interested parties on 9 May including Mornington MP David Morris, shire councillors and Mt Eliza safety campaigner and businesswoman Joanne Kidder.
Mr Billson said a signalled pedestrian crossing would be installed on Nepean Highway “in the vicinity of Tower Rd and Volitans Ave (near the bus stops) and other treatments (including vehicle-activated under-road pads that will trigger the pedestrian traffic lights when cars seeking to enter Nepean Hwy from Tower Rd have been waiting a while. This should avoid dangerous manoeuvres by drivers who have run out of patience trying to enter the Nepean Hwy traffic”.
It has not been stated how long a driver will have to wait to trigger the lights.
Mr Billson had sought “a roundabout or full signalisation at the intersection, however this is something VicRoads will not support”.
Former Mt Eliza Ward shire councillor Leigh Eustace has been part of a group of residents lobbying since 2008 for traffic lights ideally or turn restrictions at a minimum at the Tower Rd–Volitans Ave intersection, which has claimed two lives and seen a number of so-called “injury crashes”.
In January he told The News the intersection needed vehicle traffic lights and questioned why the federal government had provided more than $800,000 for a roundabout where Mt Eliza Way meets Wimborne and Kenaud avenues where there had been no fatalities (“Black spot needs traffic lights”, The News 13/1/15).
Mornington MP David Morris, who lives in Mt Eliza, called for the state government to improve the intersection when he spoke in the Parliament mid-April.
He said there had been “substantial development of the roads feeding into Tower Rd and to a lesser extent from Volitans Ave, but there are a lot more cars wanting to get onto the highway, and that has contributed to pressure on the intersection”.
He said the most recent serious accident “occurred in December last year when a motorist hit a pole and had to be airlifted to The Alfred hospital. It [saving the driver] was a very close run thing, as I understand it”.