RTA dumps plans for school safety barriers


Thursday 29 May 2003

In danger ... students wait patiently at the hazardous Middle Harbour School


PLANS for safety barriers along Macpherson St outside Middle Harbour Public School have mysteriously been "shelved" by the RTA, a parent group has claimed.

School council president Kate Vale said parents were astounded and angry when a letter was received from the RTA last week saying the safety barriers would not be erected.

The plans were approved by Mosman Council's traffic committee last year and the school has been waiting to complete the details.

"What could possibly be more important than getting these safety barriers in place near the crossing'?" Mrs Vale asked.

"It's not going to cost them (RTA) a fortune and it's only a matter of time before something terrible happens. Despite the speed limit and cameras, there are still cars that run the red light - it's a hot spot."

She said the RTA's lack of funds excuse was a poor one.

The issue was raised by concerned parents about three years ago.

Children were standing on the footpath jostling and could easily be accidentally pushed or fall into the path of oncoming traffic.

Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby said he had written to the RTA to ask them to reconsider the decision and install the barriers as soon as possible.

Mr Scruby said the school was very famous - it was the location of the first 40 km/h school zone on a main road in Australia to have a bi-directional, variable speed camera.

"Congratulations, but the school is desperate to get safety barriers. They have permission from Mosman Council and there are no shopkeepers within cooee," he wrote.

He said pedestrian barriers were needed along several other areas of Military Rd to protect schoolchildren - particularly SCECGS Redlands.

Middle Harbour principal Ann Melloh said the school community was not prepared to accept the project being put on hold once again because the safety of the children was being compromised on a daily basis.

In danger ... students wait patiently at the hazardous Middle Harbour Public School crossing - Photo: VIRGINIA YOUNG