Road safety

Perth residents to step up road safety campaign amid concerns of schoolchildren and pedestrians

Residents are stepping up a campaign against council plans to narrow a road near schools which they say ignore their safety concerns.

The local authority wants to reduce the number of cars on the roads around Perth Academy, Fairview School and Viewlands Primary during rush hour, in part by redirecting drivers to designated drop-off points along Viewlands Road, Oakbank Road and Fairies Road.

However, the council also wants to complete work to reduce the roadway on Fairies Road to just six meters so that it can complete the creation of a new sidewalk along its east side that students and pedestrians can walk on.

Residents believe that reducing its width increases the chances of vehicles going onto sidewalks and colliding with pedestrians or colliding with other vehicles moving in the opposite direction.

Two months ago Perth City South Councilor Willie Wilson called a special meeting between residents and city council officials to discuss their concerns.

However, a spokesperson for the residents told the PA over the weekend that the group felt it now had no choice but to rally more people to campaign on the issue in order to persuade the PKC to change its mind after reaching a “dead end” with those responsible.

Fairies Road resident David Milsom (66) said a presentation was made to officials drawing attention to dangerous driving incidents resulting from the narrowing of the road at their last meeting.

He said the same officials also saw a brief video clip of a car driving up the curb.

Mr Milsom said residents again recommended that council consider returning Fairies Road to its original width and forming the new path on land further from the road and within the school grounds. , as they did elsewhere on Viewlands Road.

However, he said he walked out of the meeting “exasperated” after officers appeared unwilling to budge.

“We went through all of our points and really insisted on the safety side and they [the council officials] seemed pretty horrified by the video, ”he said.

“We presented them with a lot of evidence and they came back with a few questions about it, but couldn’t provide any kind of rebuttal evidence.

“We kind of hit a dead end with them because we suggested the solution was to do something similar to what they did at Viewlands Road, but they weren’t ready to do it. “

Mr. Milsom went on to say that it seemed to him that the council refused to go back on its idea of ​​keeping the roadway narrowed because the work is already three quarters complete.

Mr Milsom said the group now aims to persuade more parents to come on board and put additional pressure on the board to think again.

A council spokesperson said this week that student safety was “of paramount importance” to PKC.

“The narrowing of the roadway on Fairies Road to create the trail will make it safer for students going to school before the introduction of the School Exclusion Zone (SEZ),” the spokesperson said.

“SEZs have been successfully introduced in other areas where they have reduced traffic and made the journey to school safer for students, their parents and guardians.

“The trial in the Viewlands campus area will reduce the traffic that congregates outside the school gates during peak hours as students come and go. “

The spokesperson continued, “Residents living on the edge of the SEZ have expressed concerns about the vehicles being moved and the inconvenience this could cause.

“Council recognized this and are committed to working with residents to minimize the impact on them and access their properties, and it was agreed that Council would consider introducing additional measures to mitigate any potential impact. .

“However, maintaining and improving road safety remains the primary objective of the council.”