Decision a cliff-hanger

Methodist Ladies' College students Alicia Suann (8) and Romy Wheeler (12) with her dog Jacob on Cliff Way in Claremont. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d401620
Methodist Ladies' College students Alicia Suann (8) and Romy Wheeler (12) with her dog Jacob on Cliff Way in Claremont. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d401620

Locals say growing nearby schools and larger vehicles were creating a deadly mix on the former driveway, not designed for heavy traffic.

Plans to consider making the street one-way (from west to east) for vehicles, and introduce a shared lane for pedestrians and cyclists, were backed by councillors at last week’s meeting.

Council also voted to allocate $40,000 in the 2013-2014 financial year capital works budget, and for a review of the junction of Stirling Highway and Richardson Avenue.

A report to Council said traffic flow worsened during drop-off and pick-up times at Methodist Ladies College and Christ Church Grammar School.

It said issues stemmed from limited access points due to the location of the schools, the width of Cliff Way, and the arrangement of properties bounded by the highway and river.

‘Children run a risk of being clipped by a car,’ Cliff Way resident Tony Heyns said.

‘Cars are getting bigger, schools are getting bigger and the problem that compounds that is the fact that Cliff Way has no footpath.

‘It’s a safety issue ” that’s the big bug.

‘Kids won’t walk to school because the parents are concerned for their safety.’

Mr Heyns, who has lived in the area for about 12 months, said residents would continue pushing for change.

Neighbour Peter Hollingsworth, whose children had experienced near misses on the street, said the treatments would reduce crowding on the road.

‘Vehicles either almost collide or pass uncomfortable closely and will tend to mount the kerb onto the verge,’ he said.

‘It’s always been a problem but the traffic density has gone up enormously and so has the size of the motor cars ” I’ve often done a count and about half are 4WDs.’

Claremont Mayor Jock Barker said the current situation was ‘an accident waiting to happen’.

‘(Changes) are needed for the safety of children,’ he said. ‘And as schools get bigger, we’re going to be heading for a disaster.’

During last week’s debate, Councillor Alastair Tulloch said the proposal was an entirely rational solution to a chronic problem.

The Town will advertise the plans and consult the community before Council makes a final decision.