School crossing in ‘disrepair’

Hume council building (Damjan Janevski). 336543_02

Zoe Moffatt

The state government has been the source of frustration for Sunbury residents once again, following delays on the repair of a school crossing.

Hume councillor Trevor Dance said the Sunbury College crossing, which is located on Riddell Road, is in a “state of disrepair”.

Cr Dance said “the long grass, potholes, safety rails etc are all in a state of disrepair by the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP)”.

“I raised the issue of the Sunbury [College] pedestrian crossing that has been badly damaged and simply taped up for months.

“[I raised it] with the hope it may be fixed by the time the students returned to school. It was not.

“Then to add to the issue the department were telling residents that it was council’s responsibility.”

Cr Dance said after days of chasing, DTP confirmed with the Hume council chief executive that the response to the resident was wrong.

“Council has again written to the minister to have these matters fixed,” he said.

A Hume council spokesperson said council shares residents’ concerns about ongoing road maintenance, and is keen to see problem areas under the management of the state addressed by DTP.

“In the past, council did additional vegetation maintenance on medians to improve the appearance of some of our major arterial roads,” they said.

“However, in the current environment with rate capping and rising costs it is not feasible for council to take on this additional cost for work that is a state responsibility.

“For the work to be done adequately at a local level more funding is needed from the state government, and we are disappointed this is not being provided at the required level.”

A DTP spokesperson said they are planning repairs to damaged pedestrian safety guards and sign posts along Riddell Road in Sunbury.

“In the meantime, we’ve installed temporary fencing and encourage pedestrians to continue using the crossing as the safest passage across Riddell Road,” they said.

This latest development in the tug and pull of vegetation maintenance follows a resident mowing a Macedon and Evans street roundabout in the middle of the night. This maintenance is again the responsibility of the state government.

Local residents shared their frustrations about the school crossing in the comment section of Facebook, with one person suggesting a community working bee in order to fix up the town.

Others were more frustrated with the lack of accountability and ‘passing the buck’ between council and state government.

“It’s about time that Hume and VicRoads start working together for the greater good of our community,” a user said.

“Between the two, Greg Williams would be jealous of the handball skills,” another person added.