Waroona misses out on speed cut trial
Waroona will not be included in a trial speed reduction aimed at boosting safety on South Western Highway.
The three-month trial will see the main street speed reduced in four South West towns that also have the highway double as their main street.
The snub is despite Waroona shire staff lobbying for a reduced speed limit for years.
On Tuesday Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts announced they would lower speed limits from 50kmh to 40kmh on the stretches of South Western Highway passing through Boyanup, Donnybrook, Balingup and Bridgetown.
The lower speeds are aimed at better managing the conflict between pedestrians and vehicles on these main-street sections of highway.
Waroona Shire President Mike Walmsley said he was disappointed Waroona had been overlooked.
“I am disappointed not to be included in this trial,” he said.
He said residents had requested the speed limit be lowered through the centre of Waroona, requests which he had passed on to Main Roads and the State Government.
Cr Walmsley said these requests had fallen on deaf ears.
“We have made representations (to the correct departments) and we have advocated for it,” he said.
“They’ve made it clear we will not get a crosswalk in town so we’ve asked several times to get the limit lowered.
“What’s 10km lower, even if it is just through that middle section of town?”
He said residents accessing basic necessities like the supermarket or pharmacy faced difficulties crossing the highway.
He said elderly people especially were intimidated by the heavy traffic despite the pedestrian refuge islands in the road.
“We’ve had clear issues with elderly people crossing the highway,” Cr Walmsley said.
“If someone on a gopher was stuck on one of those refuge islands when a truck came past either side of them, it would be bloody scary.”
“(Heavy vehicles) can be intimidating, even if they are only going 50kmh.”
The three month trial begins in February and will be completed by May.
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