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Calls to fix dangerous black spots on Southern Cross Drive

Lachlan Roberts 8 September 2019 71
One of two intersections on Southern Cross Drive and Ratcliffe Crescent in Florey. Photo: Google maps.

Labor MLA Tara Cheyne said this intersection on Southern Cross Drive is a major concern for residents. File photo.

Belconnen residents have expressed their safety concerns about notorious intersections on Southern Cross Drive that have been the site of serious car accidents in the last four years, calling for immediate change.

The intersections of Ross Smith Crescent, Chewings Street and Ratcliffe Crescent along Southern Cross Drive have been a major concern for Canberrans living in Scullin, Page and Florey, and are now the subject of a campaign by residents, motorists and Labor MLA Tara Cheyne.

Ms Cheyne said high volumes of traffic and poor visibility made the intersections black spots for motorists.

“Southern Cross Drive has been on our radar for a while,” Ms Cheyne said. “There was that awful crash in 2015 when a young girl died and there was a motorcycle accident early last year where a man died.

“It really is time to do something about these intersections and it is the right time in the Budget cycle. This section of road needs to be prioritised.”

Ms Cheyne has run a petition on her website advocating for upgrades along Southern Cross Drive, which has attracted close to 100 signatures and suggestions.

“Residents and passers-through are deeply concerned about their safety and the safety of others,” she told Region Media. “Many people have shared with me their concerns, the accidents and near-misses they have witnessed and their desire for change.

“We just need to take some action.”

Ms Cheyne believes investing in improvements, such as traffic lights, longer turning lanes or reduced speed limits, will make the intersections safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, particularly during peak traffic times.

Scullin Community Group president Sue White agreed, saying that it is “unnerving” living near dangerous intersections.

“Every time I drive through one of these intersections with my five-year-old son in the backseat, I remember the young girl who was killed in a crash there,” Ms White shared. “I can see how those accidents happened because it is almost impossible to see oncoming traffic.

“A lot of our residents feel like this is a safety issue but its also an unavoidable issue because we need to use those intersections to get in and out of our suburb. No one wants to live near a black spot.”

Ms White said she will feel relieved when the ACT Government proposes a solution.

“People have a number of ideas and solutions. For me, I think traffic lights would be a good solution but I am not an urban planner,” she said. “What I know is what is currently in place is not safe and not sustainable.

“The Scullin community and the Belconnen community deserve a safer solution for these black spots and it needs to be addressed.”

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71 Responses to
Calls to fix dangerous black spots on Southern Cross Drive
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9:14 pm 11 Sep 19

Southern Cross Drive will only be “safe” when there are traffic lights at Ratcliffe, Ratcliffe, Chewings, Ross Smith, Starke, Starke, Dalley, O’Loughlen, Beaurepaire, Spofforth, and O’Reilly. Then the govt will throw its hands in the air and say not their problem.

9:58 pm 10 Sep 19

You’d have to do a roundabout with the double T intersections so close. No way you could put lights in here, it would absolutely destroy the use of the road.

9:17 am 10 Sep 19

Get off your phones, pay attension..

There are Way worse intersections than these..

    10:53 am 10 Sep 19

    I agree. Let's not do anything about anything because somewhere there is something worse. Just be grateful and put up with bad.

    1:23 pm 10 Sep 19

    Canberra has the best roads

    in aus...

    I havent been to wa nt or tas but im betting there road are a tad worse then canberra..

    Adelaide and sydney have been the worst ive seen..

6:52 am 10 Sep 19

As with the other intersections around town that people complain about, how bout having a look at the shocking driving in this area, in the space of 20 mins this morning I came across 3 separate nose to tail accidents, which in high traffic times, fair chance the car at the back was tailgating, that’s just one example, I could go on

2:08 am 10 Sep 19

One thing that people seem to lack when it comes to the simplest tasks in life such as driving a motor vehicle is COMMON SENSE.

5:34 pm 09 Sep 19


    6:41 pm 09 Sep 19

    Lawton Bryant 100% The correct comment. ACT drivers are the worst I've ever seen, and I've done a lot of driving.

5:31 pm 09 Sep 19

Jake Scholes Oi Jakey, is that you in the shot? Driving that sexy AU?

5:00 pm 09 Sep 19

i live close to this series of intersections and use them everyday - they are completely fine. People need to pay more attention to what they do on the roads!

    5:58 pm 09 Sep 19

    Tobias Ridewood NO! The government should spend millions so I don’t have to think, or consider asking an alternate route.

    9:11 pm 09 Sep 19

    Agreed, i live just up the road and have never come close to having and accident, i see many idiots that can't drive who wouldn't surprise me if they got in an accident there

    9:46 pm 09 Sep 19

    Agreed. The amount of times I've been waiting to cross into florey heading from belconnen and the car in front of me has gone when they really should of waited or I've had the car behind beep their horn or wave their hands around in frustration because I'm waiting until it is safe to cross. I'm waiting for the day I see an accident purely because people cannot wait a few more seconds. Its ridiculous.

    10:48 am 10 Sep 19

    People should pay attention but when data shows that a section of road is having a high number of accidents and incidents then it is worth examining the problem. The next step is not taking the words of you or me that there is or isn't a problem, it is getting some hard data on the suitability of these intersections as they are designed.

    6:57 am 11 Sep 19

    Martin McMaster their design is fine. Clear visibility both directions. Slip lanes etc.

    When first built different story but that is why the closed one lane on Souther Cross Drive and brought the traffic islands into what was the inside lane.

    Biggest issue there and frankly at most intersections in Canberra is people are in too much of a rush and cannot handle the fact the roads are getting busy and their previous 5 minute trip will now take 5.5.

    11:56 am 11 Sep 19

    Ashley Wright I'm sure the road engineers and safety experts will give your opinion consideration

    1:57 pm 11 Sep 19

    Martin McMaster along with yours no doubt.

    And interesting just announced lights going into these two intersections.

3:30 pm 09 Sep 19

Just obey the road rules. Stop blaming things. People crash cars.

1:40 pm 09 Sep 19

I cross from Florey to Page every day. Here are a few ways to make the crossing safer: move signage at all intersections, and lightpost at Chewings St, so they do not block vision into the roadway. Install speed cameras on Southern Cross Drive. Please no traffic lights, just stop vehicles speeding on Southern Cross Drive so thatvehicles trying to cross hav a chance.

1:15 pm 09 Sep 19

It's a road, it's going to be black.

11:18 am 09 Sep 19

How about driving safely.That might be a cheaper solution.

Grimm 9:52 am 09 Sep 19

How about we stop wasting money on traffic lights, and just have more police on the roads fining crappy drivers? I have never had a problem with these intersections. There’s nothing wrong with them if you have half a brain and some patience.

9:13 am 09 Sep 19

Put in lots of these...Wait for it...

7:48 am 09 Sep 19

I’ve been driving those intersections for 29 years, and have never had a problem!

    8:58 am 09 Sep 19

    Likewise. And there is much more visibility on these corners than on a number of others in the area. Please, no more traffic lights!!!

    11:20 am 09 Sep 19

    Meg Richens I agree with most of that but clearly there is something about those few intersections along that down hill section for some road users, it may be partially the down hill speed partially the head angle to see across the three lanes and also the poor ability for some to anticipate getting right across three lanes effectively and yet slow at the centre Island to give way again to the other three lanes. Clearly beyond some peoples competence level and out of comfort zone.

    11:38 am 09 Sep 19

    Stephen Hodgkin potentially but I don't recall seeing that many accidents in that space either and I've lived near it for the better part of 36 years. Many other more difficult areas in Canberra I think.

7:32 am 09 Sep 19

Cveta Gurcinoska!!! Yes!!!

5:56 am 09 Sep 19

The speeds allowed on Canberra roads, and Australian roads generally, are too high. Canberra's roads are quite good, reducing the number of accidents per km but when Drivers make errors the resultant accidents are more serious. Another issue is the volume of traffic, exacerbated by the large proportion of kids driven to school. Near SFX is a nightmare. Contrary to what people who use them imagine the mixed use paths are in Canberra and especially Belconnen poorly designed, incomplete and in poor condition. And many parents will not let kids ride or walk across heavily used 60kph streets. We make it safer for kids to walk from the car but do not apply similarly low speeds for kids who walk or ride for the rest of the journey to school. Time to apply Euro standards to road management, not western Sydney.

    8:35 pm 09 Sep 19

    Peter Hatfield I agree lower all the speed limits by at least 20kph in some areas of the suburbs.

5:44 am 09 Sep 19

Kuringa and Owen Dixon needs some lights

    9:12 am 09 Sep 19

    You got that right. Worst intersection in Canberra.

    6:13 am 10 Sep 19

    I watched someone drive into a light pole at that intersection right in front of me once.

    I actually think roundabouts would work quite well at that and the other intersection there because of the flow traffic? And I really hate roundabouts...

    8:21 am 10 Sep 19

    Joel Byatt Kuringa and Owen Dixon are getting lights within the next year. Gov chose to do the lights on Tilyard and Ginninderra first. Speed bumps going in on Spalding in Flynn as well.

5:31 am 09 Sep 19

If it’s so ‘notorious’ how about just driving carefully... blaming the roads is just an excuse...

    2:40 pm 09 Sep 19

    C'mon Roy, you expect people to take responsibility for their actions, when they can blame the Govt and Infrastructure...

    4:19 pm 09 Sep 19

    I know Terry... I’ve let the team down with logic... I hang my head in shame.

3:54 am 09 Sep 19

We need safe roads, but please don't throw yet another set of traffic lights at the problem. You can't replace every single uncontrolled T intersection with traffic lights, that's not a solution! There must be some middle ground before we install a set of coloured dots that tell drivers exactly what to do; stop or go. This requires no input or skill from drivers, you don't even need to look at other cars in the intersection.... it actually dumbs the drivers down even more over time, and eventually this will lead to any uncontrolled intersection being highly hazardous.

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