Wednesday, 06 May 2009
Waverley Road, East Malvern: traffic management
Mr O'BRIEN (Malvern) -- I raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Roads and Ports. For almost a year now the minister and VicRoads have been contemplating calls for road safety measures to be introduced around the Malvern East terminus shopping strip in Waverley Road. Twelve months on, despite promises by VicRoads and the minister's own chief of staff, nothing has been delivered.
Early in 2008 I received a number of complaints to my office about dangerous speed levels in and around the Malvern East terminus village. I then conducted a survey of local traders on the issue. Ninety-one per cent of respondents supported a reduction from 60 kilometres per hour to 40 kilometres per hour in the speed limit in the vicinity of the village during business hours. The proposal also received the support of Stonnington council.
In addition, the lack of safe pedestrian crossing facilities further up Waverley Road was raised by local traders and residents.
My office contacted VicRoads on 19 May 2008 to request that action be taken. On 1 June I received a letter from Mr Ted Vincent, executive director, regional services, VicRoads. It states:
VicRoads will investigate reducing the speed limit from 60 kilometres per hour to 40 kilometres per hour on Waverley Road near the intersection of Darling Road. You will be advised of the outcome of this investigation in July 2008.
Having had no further response, I wrote to the minister on 15 August seeking his intervention. In that letter I noted, among other things, that two primary schools, a school for children with behavioural disorders and two senior citizens facilities are all within close proximity to the village.
By letter dated 15 September 2008 the minister's chief of staff wrote to me on behalf of the minister. The letter states:
A 40-kilometres-per-hour strip shopping speed zone may be considered for the section of Waverley Road, between Douglas Street and Darling Road ...
The letter goes on to promise that:
VicRoads will conduct a survey of pedestrian numbers in the vicinity of the terminus village to determine whether the site meets the criteria for consideration of pedestrian operated signals.
In March 2009 I was dismayed to learn that in fact no survey had been conducted and that VicRoads could not advise me when any investigation or survey would be conducted.
As the local member for Malvern and someone who has his office in the area concerned, I can attest to the danger that local residents, particularly children and the elderly, face on a daily basis around the village. My community has been extremely patient with VicRoads and the minister. We asked politely for our concerns to be addressed, and we were given assurances they would be. However, one year on those assurances have turned out to be hollow words and nothing more. Does the minister need to see a multiple fatality before he acts? Surely it need not come to this.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Nardella) -- Order! I ask the member to come to his request for action.
Mr O'BRIEN -- Therefore I ask the minister to immediately take action to improve road safety in the vicinity of the Malvern East terminus village by reducing the speed limit to 40 kilometres per hour during business hours and by introducing pedestrian-operated signals.