6 September 2019

Calls to fix dangerous black spots on Southern Cross Drive

| Lachlan Roberts
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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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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.

Agree some of them probably need lights now to increased traffic volumes.

But not sure about poor visibility being an issue. Provided you drive like you are meant to which is slow down, look and Giveway you can see what is coming. It is those that down slow down and give way that cause the accidents.

Yea we need more traffic lights. What ever happened to drivers looking at where they are going? Those intersections are open with no vision issues, so what happened to drivers care and attention?

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