The Federal Government will pay $1.8 million to install traffic lights at the intersections of Ross Smith Crescent and Chewings Street along Southern Cross Drive in Scullin.
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Transport Michael McCormack said the project will be delivered over the next two financial years under the Federal Government’s 2019-20 Black Spot Program.
Mr McCormack said the Black Spot Program funds safety measures like traffic lights and roundabouts at ‘dangerous’ roads that have been the site of car accidents.
“This funding will substantially improve the safety of Southern Cross Drive in Scullin through signalising two intersections where there has been a high incidence of casualty crashes,” Mr McCormack said.
“This investment is part of the Federal Government’s commitment to building safer roads right across the nation and getting commuters home to their families sooner and safer, no matter where they live.”
The ACT Black Spot Consultative Panel, chaired by ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja, reviews the priorities for the program, focusing on intersections that have been the site of a serious crash.
Mr Seselja said the panel worked with the ACT Government, Pedal Power and NRMA to identify upgrade priorities.
He said road traffic engineers identified that traffic lights would make the intersections safer and reduce some of the accident risks.
“We believe the signalisation of these intersections will make this area much safer,” Mr Seselja said. “The panel looks at crash history, fatalities or serious injuries and we also look at the cost benefits. These upgrades came out on top of the list this year.
“We have a good road network but you do see choke points where the neighbourhood road meets some of these major thoroughfares.”
Last year, $118,000 from the Black Spot Program was also allocated to extend the nose of the side road median island and ban U-turns at intersections on Southern Cross Drive between Kingsford Smith Drive and Coulter Drive in Florey.
Labor Member for Ginninderra Tara Cheyne, who has been campaigning for safer intersections on Southern Cross Drive, welcomed the announced improvements to the intersections but was uncertain whether traffic lights were the right solution.
“Anyone travelling through Scullin, Page or Florey knows just how difficult it can be to enter and exit these suburbs via Southern Cross Drive, particularly during peak traffic times,” Ms Cheyne said.
“Many people have shared with me their experiences navigating these intersections, as well as the accidents and near-misses they have witnessed. Some people avoid the area altogether.
“While traffic lights may be the ideal solution to improve safety, it’s important a proper assessment is done to ensure the best outcome for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians,” Ms Cheyne said.
To nominate a black spot for consideration by the consultative panel, visit the Black Spot Program website.