Aubin calls for traffic lights at busy highway intersection

DANGEROUS: Warren Aubin at the intersection. Photo: RACHEL CHAMBERLAIN
DANGEROUS: Warren Aubin at the intersection. Photo: RACHEL CHAMBERLAIN

COUNCILLOR Warren Aubin is ready to say goodbye to a troublesome roundabout at the intersection of Stewart Street and the Mitchell Highway.

At Bathurst Regional Council’s May policy committee meeting, Cr Aubin told his fellow councillors that Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is scanning regional areas for “hot spots” to carry out work. 

He recommended that council appeal to the RMS to address issues the roundabout at that intersection has caused for the flow of traffic and general safety. 

Cr Aubin has since elaborated on the issue to the Western Advocate, saying that trucks, through no fault of their own – are a big part of the problem. 

“It is really clogged up a lot of the time with trucks,” he said.

“Because it is not a designated dual-lane roundabout, trucks have to use both lanes and it banks cars up behind them.” 

Congestion aside, the approach to the roundabout from both Stewart Street and Brilliant Street is uphill and, with all the planting on the roundabout, there is very limited visibility for most motorists. 

“The sight distances through that roundabout is not that clean, so you can be sitting there and see nothing and then next thing you know there is a car that’s about to hit your door,” Cr Aubin said. 

He has also witnessed examples of dangerous driving, seeing people attempt to go around trucks, while others have driven up onto the roundabout. 

In his opinion, the best solution is to remove the roundabout altogether and replace it with traffic lights. 

He said this would make it easier for trucks to turn onto and from the Mitchell Highway.

When asked if he hates roundabouts, given his aversion to the one proposed for the Mitre, Suttor and Lambert street intersection, he said this wasn’t the case. 

He said each intersection needs to be looked at differently and what works for some won’t necessarily work for others. 

“I’m not against roundabouts at all. I think they have a place,” he said. 

He added that he had actually been encouraged by someone from the RMS to put the intersection of Stewart Street and the Mitchell Highway forward for improvement works.

Whether or not anything happens there would be subject to further discussion with the RMS. 

“We really need to sit down with the RMS and see what they think we need to do. It’s their road,” Cr Aubin said.