Council Rejects Chamber’s Comments

Filed under Council, News ~ by Press on  23 Feb 2010

Upper Hunter Shire Council rejected comments by Scone Chamber of Commerce about proposed traffic changes in Kelly & Liverpool Streets Scone.

The Council said technical advice on pedestrian safety was the reason for the decision.

Losing the roundabout is unfortunate, but Council had to consider the safety of all pedestrians, including school children, the elderly and the mobility disadvantaged”, Mayor Lee Watts said.

The loss can be mitigated with careful landscaping and additional footpath gardens”, she added.

The Chamber President did not attend the RTA briefing session or the Council meeting. Despite repeated invitations by Council to discuss the Kelly Street proposals, the Scone Chamber of Commerce has made no attempt to meet with Council staff to discuss the technical issues associated with the different options. Council has always been open and cooperative in order to obtain the best outcome for the community, whilst the Scone Chamber of Commerce has taken a combative approach.

The Scone Chamber of Commerce held a survey that did not present a balanced position and was misleading to say the least. The question shouldn’t be do you want to retain the roundabout; the question is: Do you want the most comprehensive safety solution? How many that signed the petition understood that both options involve traffic lights? How many realise the median fence is an issue in both proposals? Council opposes the inclusion of the median fence. Council attempted to get the Chamber to present a more balanced approach which they refused.

The Scone Chamber of Commerce in its submission to the RTA has proposed a third set of pedestrian controlled traffic lights south of the intersection, so whilst appearing to oppose traffic lights they are actually advocating more! They also propose the traffic lights be 75-100 metres from the roundabout which will create more traffic stoppages and further reduce parking spaces in the main CBD area.

The Chamber’s submission to the RTA lacks an understanding of the main issue of pedestrian safety, and the need to improve safety for all pedestrians.

Kelly Street Pedestrian Safety Improvements

Upper Hunter Shire Council debated the RTA’s proposals for safety improvements to Kelly Street (New England Highway), Scone.

The majority of Councillors spoke on the proposals and explored the advantages and limitations of both traffic light options.

Council resolved to support the RTA’s original proposal of a signalised intersection which provides traffic lights to all four sides of the intersection and allows pedestrians on all four corners a safe method of crossing the four lane highway and both sides of Liverpool Street.

Both options provide for pedestrian refuges mid-block north and south of the Liverpool Street intersection and a future roundabout at the Kingdon Street intersection.

Mayor Lee Watts said Losing the roundabout was unfortunate, but Council had to consider the safety of all pedestrians, including school children, the elderly and the mobility disadvantaged.  The loss can be mitigated with careful landscaping and additional footpath gardens.

The traffic lights will be linked to the future Liverpool Street railway crossing lights to help highway traffic flow through the intersection when the rail crossing boom gates are closed.

The RTA’s public consultation period finished on 19 February and they will now consider all of the submissions before making a final decision on which proposal to move forward with.

It is a difficult and contentious issue but the Council believed the safety of all pedestrians using the intersection was the most important issue and the RTA’s original proposal of traffic lights was the most comprehensive safety solution,” Mayor Watts said.



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