Cessnock City Council will investigate interim solutions to improve safety at an accident-prone Weston intersection, and will seek grant funding to fast-track the redevelopment of the intersection.
The safety concerns at the intersection of Hart Road, Government Road, Gingers Lane and Sawyers Gully Road were brought to the table by Ward C councillor Melanie Dagg at Wednesday’s meeting.
Cr Dagg said she felt compelled to raise the motion to council after there were three accidents at the intersection in a nine-day period late last month.
Her motion asked council to immediately correspond with various state and federal representatives to seek their support and actively pursue all funding available through grant programs at both levels of government to upgrade the busy intersection.
There has been a dramatic increase in traffic on Hart Road and nearby roads since the Hunter Expressway opened in March 2014.
The NSW Government last year allocated $4 million towards improvements on roads that feed into the expressway, and council has been – and will continue to – work with Roads and Maritime Services in an effort to improve safety and traffic flow on those roads.
Cr Dagg said it was a “failure at all levels of government” that has led to the pressure on the Hart Road intersection and its nearby roads.
“But I’m not here to point fingers, I’m here to get a solution,” she said.
“It won’t be a simple fix, it will require a number of things in place before it works.”
Council’s traffic engineers will urgently investigate the intersection and its various approaches, and prepare a report outlining interim solutions – including speed limit reductions, traffic calming devices and warning lights – to be assessed by the traffic committee at its June meeting.
The location of the school bus stop on Hart Road will also be investigated.
In response to concerns over driver behaviour at the intersection – particularly speeding and ignoring the stop signs – council will write to Police Minister and the Hunter Valley Police District to request more police patrols or mobile speed cameras in the area.
A progress report will come back to council by the end of July.