ONE year has passed since the accident at the intersection of Mitre, Suttor and Lambert streets that ignited a passionate campaign to improve safety.
It was November 25, 2016 when a car ploughed into the fence of The Assumption School at around 9.30am.
The school was having its kindergarten orientation, and if the accident had occurred just fifteen minutes earlier, the outcome could have been far more serious.
West Bathurst residents Kent and Dianne McNab saw that accident as the last straw after more than 20 years of seeing near misses and accidents occur at the intersection.
Their campaign started out small with a news story, but grew into something far larger when the couple started making regular appearances at council meetings and commenced a petition.
The petition has 5134 signatures so far and just this week was presented to the NSW Parliament Legislative Assembly.
Mr McNab said that the petition will hopefully show the government how fiercely the people of Bathurst want the intersection addressed.
“It has been one year since the accident at The Assumption School. There has been a lot of talk since then, but not much action,” he said.
“We’ve hoping for some action in the way of some funding because of [the petition].”
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the couple had been very strong supporters of improving the intersection and had put a lot of effort into the petition to obtain more than 5000 signatures.
“This week I officially signed it to go to the Clerk, where it will now be forwarded to Melinda Pavey (Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight), who will need to respond to it over the coming months,” Mr Toole said.
Despite the petition having made it to Parliament, Mr and Mrs McNab said they will continue to door-knock and collect more signatures.
“This petition is going to go on and on until action is taken,” Mr McNab said.
Mauricia Whiteman, a parent and community member, said she fears for the safety of children when they need to catch public transport from out the front of The Assumption School.
“To know that something has happened so close to the intersection is even more scary, because it is so busy,” she said.
President of The Assumption School Parents and Friends Association, Helen Daunt, said something had to be done.
“The concern is the safety of the students that walk up and down here twice everyday and other schools have children that use this intersection and their safety is paramount,” she said.
Denison College Bathurst campus students Felicity Hickey and Olivia Pugh both want to see the intersection changed, as they are not only students in the area, but new drivers too.
“I’ve been driving by myself since July and I’ve been using alternate roads to school, because you don’t know what people will do,” Ms Hickey said.
Bathurst Regional Council set aside $850,000 in its 2017-18 budget to address the intersection, half the money required for the $1.7 million project.
It is hoped that the other half will come from Black Spot Funding, which council has applied for but is yet to hear back on.