By Aleksandra Bliszczyk
Mitchell Shire Council has reduced the speed limit around Wandong Primary School to 40km an hour at all times and installed new signs after a neighbouring resident expressed safety concerns.
Travis McCarty, who lives adjacent to the school where his daughter Evie attends, emailed council in September last year proposing the speed limit be reduced.
“It had been a known fact that the Wandong Primary School had grown considerably in recent years, both children and staff,” Mr McCarty said.
“In the email I detailed that in recent months the local roads surrounding the Wandong Primary School had become a dangerous environment [with] illegal parking, speeding, bottle-neck traffic chaos.”
Last month the reduction of speed on Wandong Avenue near the school was approved by Regional Roads Victoria.
Mr McCarty thanked council’s transport and development coordinator and Cr Louise Bannister.
He said it wass a good start by council and that he was happy with how quickly it was able to respond to his concerns and action changes.
“This has been a long process, however one I feel should be met with only positive vibes. In my opinion, the Mitchell Shire Council have demonstrated their strong interest in providing not only public safety, but that of a safer environment for our local residents and families at the Wandong Primary School.”
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said the move had been met with support for the safety of pedestrians and motorists.
“We take road safety around schools very seriously and as Wandong Primary School continues to expand we’ve worked with the school and community to change the speed limits,” she said.
“We’re going to continue to work with schools and their communities to improve and manage road safety around our schools. We’re planning for a growing population and ensuring road safety is just another aspect of a healthy, connected and sustainable community.”
Cr Sanderson said new works and reduced speed limits were also being proposed for Our Lady of the Way Primary School in Wallan East and Beveridge Primary School.
Wandong Primary School assistant principal David Warren thanked council for the positive step.
“Quite often we can field phone calls from community members raising concerns about speed at drop off and pick up times and that’s certainly something that our staff are aware of,” he said.
“Anything that can be done to improve safety around the school and encourage people to slow down is something we welcome.”
“We put announcements in our newsletter to our families about the need to be safe around the school, but we can only do so much, so having support from council on these matters is welcomed.”