THE new pedestrian lights on Bungower Road, Mornington, remain switched off almost one year since they were installed.
The lights and associated works, paid for and managed by Mornington Peninsula Shire, are believed to have cost around $400,000 and were expected to ease the congestion issues on Bungower Road, near St. Macartan’s Primary School and Racecourse Road.
Mornington resident and roads campaigner Ken McBride says the hold-up is unacceptable and blames the delay on a stalemate between the Department of Transport and the shire over who will pay to turn the lights on and synchronise them with the tourist railway crossing lights.
Last November the department’s advocacy, communications and engagement team leader Joanne Donelly said the process was taking longer than anticipated due to the impacts of COVID-19 and working with other agencies to activate the lights.
But almost four months later not much has happened.
Mr McBride said the Bungower Road traffic was a “grid-lock” at particular times of the day as vehicles enter and exit the nearby Macartan’s Primary School and Racecourse Road.
The department says it has been liaising with the shire on some design details to ensure the site is safe once switched on.
Spokesperson Tamara Rocco said safety was the department’s highest priority, and “that’s why we’re taking the necessary steps to ensure Bungower Road in Mornington remains safe for all road users”.
“We will continue to work with the [council] to ensure the new signals can be switched on as soon as possible.”
It is believed the council is in the process of finalising a road safety audit that will lead to the department to start programming the pedestrian signals.
To ensure safety at the crossing, the shire will need to install puffin (pedestrian user-friendly intelligent) detectors, lanterns at the pedestrian crossing and a static “stop here on red signal” sign.