TRAFFIC counts have been conducted at Bathurst’s worst intersection in another encouraging sign that plans to install a roundabout are progressing.
The manual counts have been carried out to monitor traffic numbers through the Suttor, Lambert and Mitre street intersection near the Assumption School at West Bathurst as Bathurst Regional Council continues to explore funding options for a roundabout.
Council committed $1.7 million to the roundabout as part of the 2017-18 budget but also resolved to apply for blackspot funding support from the federal government.
Almost 12 months on, though, council is yet to learn if its application for federal funding has been successful and despite a commitment to fully fund the roundabout from council reserves if needed, roundabout supporters have been left frustrated by a lack of progress.
Kent McNab, who for more than a year has led a community campaign to have a roundabout installed, has tried several times to get an answer about the blackspot funding application from the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities but also keeps hitting brick walls.
He told last week’s council meeting that the time for waiting was over.
“If council’s application for commonwealth black spot funding has not been successful, then council just has to get on with the job of constructing the roundabout at this intersection,” Mr McNab said.
“The funds need to be allocated and the work programmed at an early date. No more delaying tactics.”
Mr McNab has also visited a new roundabout at the intersection of Woodward and Moulder streets in Orange which was installed last year thanks to $635,000 in federal black spot funding.
“Why would this intersection be considered more in need of commonwealth black spot funding than the Intersection at Lambert, Mitre and Suttor streets which has a primary school at the corner as well as a second primary school and a high school within one kilometre and is also situated on the major arterial route?” he asked.
The former Bathurst City Council first identified the need for a roundabout at the intersection in 1997, saying it was needed to cope with growing populations in West Bathurst, Llanarth and Windradyne.