Calls to fix dangerous black spots on Southern Cross Drive

Lachlan Roberts 6 September 2019 50
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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50 Responses to Calls to fix dangerous black spots on Southern Cross Drive
Kyle Rollinson Kyle Rollinson 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.

Steven Slusser Steven Slusser 9:17 am 10 Sep 19

Get off your phones, pay attension..

There are Way worse intersections than these..

    Martin McMaster Martin McMaster 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.

    Steven Slusser Steven Slusser 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..

Bernie Ryan Bernie Ryan 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.

    Martin McMaster Martin McMaster 10:50 am 10 Sep 19

    That's it is it? Common sense will prevail no matter how badly designed or maintained the roads?

Lawton Bryant Lawton Bryant 5:34 pm 09 Sep 19


Will McIntyre Will McIntyre 5:31 pm 09 Sep 19

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

Tobias Ridewood Tobias Ridewood 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!

    Brendan Donnan Brendan Donnan 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.

    Aaron Domio Aaron Domio 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

    Renae Baker Renae Baker 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.

    Martin McMaster Martin McMaster 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.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 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.

    Martin McMaster Martin McMaster 11:56 am 11 Sep 19

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

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 1:57 pm 11 Sep 19

    Martin McMaster along with yours no doubt.

    And interesting just announced lights going into these two intersections.

Peter Montgomery Peter Montgomery 3:30 pm 09 Sep 19

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

    Martin McMaster Martin McMaster 10:53 am 10 Sep 19

    Are you saying that there is nothing to be gained by good road design and maintenance?

Matt Gard Matt Gard 1:15 pm 09 Sep 19

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

Mark Flynn Mark Flynn 11:18 am 09 Sep 19

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

    Pamela Harris Pamela Harris 3:08 pm 09 Sep 19

    Mark Flynn agree with you Mark , Canberra drivers are terrible .

    Martin McMaster Martin McMaster 10:51 am 10 Sep 19

    You got it. Case closed. Ignore the data.

Grimm 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.

Michael Cameron Michael Cameron 9:13 am 09 Sep 19

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

Aleksandra Cvetkoski Aleksandra Cvetkoski 7:32 am 09 Sep 19

Cveta Gurcinoska!!! Yes!!!

Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 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.

Joel Byatt Joel Byatt 5:44 am 09 Sep 19

Kuringa and Owen Dixon needs some lights

    Brendan Frost Brendan Frost 9:12 am 09 Sep 19

    You got that right. Worst intersection in Canberra.

    Lin Van Oevelen Lin Van Oevelen 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...

    Jamie-Leigh Fardell Jamie-Leigh Fardell 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.

Kim Vella Kim Vella 9:02 pm 08 Sep 19

A family member of mine died last year on that intersection with no one held accountable. Wrong place, bad timing and bad sight lines blamed including the intersection! Yes the intersection needs to be safer for everyone, sorry if saving lives inconveniences everyone so you can get home or to work 2 minutes sooner!

Ray Ez Ray Ez 8:56 pm 08 Sep 19

Or install people that can drive?

Peter McArdle Peter McArdle 8:43 pm 08 Sep 19

Many roads in West Belconnen are badly designed, such as Southern Cross Dr.

Another example:

In the time that we have lived in the area, 13 people have been killed (and many more badly injured) on Kingsford Smith Dr between Ginninderra Dr and Alpen St, a distance of 1.6km. If these deaths had occurred on a 1 mile stretch of road in Inner Canberra, would inaction still continue?

Marcus Allan Marcus Allan 8:17 pm 08 Sep 19

Have police presence there for some peak times. Immediate “learnding” for those goodly Canberra drivers.

Roderick Saunders Roderick Saunders 8:14 pm 08 Sep 19

There's a lot to be said for simple + shaped intersections on arterial roads but the planners had to show how clever they were

Tania Markezic Pine Tania Markezic Pine 8:02 pm 08 Sep 19

Yes please

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