ON April 18, Bathurst Regional Council engineering director Darren Sturgiss recommended council “construct a roundabout at the intersection of Mitre/Suttor/Lambert streets” funded from $600,000 in developer contributions, $150,000 from the 2018-19 council budget and the $950,000 set aside in the 2017/18 budget.
The $1.7 million includes $750,000 for roundabout construction, $700,000 for utility work, (i.e. replacing asbestos pipes from nearby reservoirs and other underground services) and $250,000 for the car park and other work at the site.
Based on her Google research, Councillor Monica Morse moved an amendment that would see “improvements” replace “roundabout” in the motion and stated that the 17.6 per cent of Bathurst voters who signed the petition calling for a roundabout were wrong. The amendment was seconded by Cr John Fry.
Cr Warren Aubin, in support of the amendment, also said the 5155 people who signed the petition were wrong and that roundabouts “make cars go faster”. Why has the council constructed more than 30 roundabouts in their area if roundabouts are such a traffic hazard?
However, when Sydney consultants TrafficMatters submitted their independent report that had been previously requested by council, for the fourth time we were told that a roundabout was the most suitable “improvement” for the intersection. It seems those 5155 people were right.
However, TrafficMatters also state that the intersection was an alternative route and in its current form could possibly function adequately for years into the future. For residents of Windradyne, Llanarth and West Bathurst with children at school, this is not on. They do not wish to drive out of their way along Bradwardine Road to the Mitchell Highway and dodge B-doubles and other trucks driving to the CBD.
TrafficMatters, in their conclusion, stated that “the provision of the roundabout would ensure that the intersection operates with minimal delay and a good level of service well into the future”.
Will councillors base their next vote on four engineers’ reports recommending constructing a roundabout at the intersection of Lambert, Mitre and Suttor streets as the best “improvement”? They have already voted the funds to do the work.
It should not be acceptable to Bathurst ratepayers and residents for the elected councillors to again vote to do nothing after 21 years.