Liberal MLA Elizabeth Kikkert’s long campaign for traffic lights to be installed at a notorious Belconnen black spot has borne fruit with the ACT Government announcing that the upgrade will be funded in next week’s Budget.
A spokesperson for City Services Minister Meegan Fitzharris said $4 million had been allocated for the installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Ginninderra Drive and Tillyard Drive, as well as pedestrian and cycle access to better control all vehicle movements.
It is part of an $8 million outlay to upgrade Belconnen intersections that also includes Tillyard Drive and Lhotsky Street, and Kuringa Drive and Owen Dixon Drive.
The funding decision is somewhat of a backflip, with Roads ACT originally proposing a set of traffic calming measures despite a study identifying the need for traffic lights at Tillyard Drive’s intersections with Ginninderra Drive and Lhotsky Street.
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The Minister also announced yesterday (31 May) that William Slim Drive from Ginninderra Drive to the Barton Highway would be duplicated, including about 3.2 kilometres of new carriageway, 6.4 kilometres of new on-road cycle lanes and a new bridge over Ginninderra Creek.
The Budget also delivers $1.25 million to start planning and design work on the extension of John Gorton Drive and a bridge across the Molonglo River, as well as matched funding to upgrade the Monaro Highway after the Federal Government committed up to $100 million in this year’s Federal Budget.
In the Tillyard Drive area, the Government would also implement a number of safety measures over the coming financial year after consultation with the local community, including:
- Improvements to intersections with Crawford Crescent, Spalding Street, Kerrigan Street and Daley Crescent (south);
- Lane narrowing between Covington Crescent and Crawford Crescent and between Barber Crescent and Kuringa Drive;
- A pedestrian refuge island adjacent to the Bicentennial Trail;
- Improvements to pedestrian signage near Charnwood shops and to line marking and signage on Kuringa Drive;
- Lane narrowing and line marking improvements on Spalding Street;
- Lane narrowing between Tillyard Drive and Shakespeare Crescent and improvements to pedestrian signage on Kerrigan Street;
- Speed cushions in Shakespeare Crescent and Cartwright Street; and
- A pedestrian refuge island near Rouse Place.
In February, Ms Fitzharris told the Assembly the Government took the Tillyard Drive safety issues seriously but any decision on such a large capital work was subject to the Budget process and could not be pre-empted.
Mrs Kikkert took the issue on before she was elected to the Assembly when as a Charnwood resident she personally witnessed the aftermath of crashes and numerous near misses.
In 2016, Mrs Kikkert launched a petition which attracted 1329 signatures in 2016 and took the issue to the Assembly.
In February this year, she penned a piece for The RiotACT calling on the Government to have traffic lights installed.
“I have battled with the Government on this issue for years,” Mrs Kikkert said.
“As a local resident, I witnessed the aftermath of many car accidents and near misses at this intersection.
“Until now, all we had seen from this Government was vague promises for future considerations despite the mounting number of car accidents and injuries.
“I am very pleased that the Government has finally conceded the safety risk of this intersection and will install traffic lights. This can’t come soon enough.”