Cyclists squeezed

Year 5 student Anya Marlow with principal John Worthy and fellow students Brooke Makking-Robinson and Josh Mikhail.www.communitypix.com.au d401059
Year 5 student Anya Marlow with principal John Worthy and fellow students Brooke Makking-Robinson and Josh Mikhail.www.communitypix.com.au d401059

Cyclists who share Canning Road and Welshpool Road East with trucks and feel that their safety is being jeopardised each time they travel have voiced their concerns to the Shire, resulting in 25 requests in just six months to have the roads widened.

The Shire development and infrastructure services committee passed a motion at its meeting on Monday to approach MRWA about it taking charge of the upgrade.

A final decision to make the referral will be made at the next full council meeting.

Figures from a traffic count held 12 months ago revealed more than 2000 vehicles use Canning Road each day, 12.5 per cent of which are commercial vehicles.

More than 10 per cent of the 5000 vehicles that use Welshpool Road East daily are also commercial vehicles.

An increasing number of trucks using the roads results in a need for more maintenance, and the Shire has been struggling to keep up with residents’ concerns.

Shire acting CEO Clayton Higham said the council did not have the resources to fund the projects and could not guarantee it could secure the funds from somewhere else.

‘The main request is for a wider roadway with sealed shoulders that allows appropriate separation distances between cyclists and heavy vehicles, as well as an escape route,’ he said.

‘Other solutions include the reduction of the speed limits.

‘No (cost) estimate has been made as there are a number of options that would have various cost implications.

‘The wide range of issues to be resolved includes the steep grades, narrow roads and vegetation clearing that would need to be dealt with.’

Mr Higham said passing responsibility to Main Roads did not guarantee funding would be secured.

‘However, the transfer would provide direct access to funding from Main Roads, whereas currently, the Shire receives grants through the various State Government funding programs,’ he said.

He said there had been no discussions yet with MRWA about the transfer of responsibility.