Roulette on a suburban street to be investigated

By Kimberley Price

RESIDENTS of Landsborough St, Echuca are calling for Campaspe Shire to address their need for, at the bare minimum, a footpath.

Sick and tired of cars lining both sides of their street, bobbing in and out of oncoming traffic and having to use the road as a footpath instead of the muddy and bindii-ridden grassed area, residents are asking council to meet with them and investigate their needs and ideas.

‘‘It is a very dangerous road for us to use,’’ Landsborough St resident Joanna Lee said.

‘‘When walking and holding my toddler Josephine’s hand and pushing a pram, cars fly past and I have difficulty ensuring she is safe.

‘‘There are a lot of secondary kids using the road to get to and from school and a lot of older people need to travel down it too.

‘‘It’s not safe for us.’’

Landsborough St is situated behind Centrelink and is one of the only streets off Hare St which has free all day parking.

Cars line both sides of the street from all hours of the day and right through the weekend, leaving no assurance of residents safety.

Another resident John Ferris said he lobbied for Council action a decade ago.

‘‘We had a go at getting some action and the council offices said if all the residents contributed the funds they would build a footpath for us,’’ he said.

‘‘That was too difficult at the time but it’s become a necessity now.

‘‘Our letters have been unanswered and our requests to Council for the street to be looked at have gone unanswered.’’

Dissatisfied with the lack of concern from council, the residents approached council on May 14 at the Budget submission hearing, however no changes were made to the 2019/20 Budget as a result of the submission.

As a Zone 1 area in Echuca, Landsborough St is a central gateway leading surrounding streets to Hare St and connecting the busy CBD with the Campaspe Esplanade walking track. Every other street in the Zone 1 area has footpaths for residents to access.

With schools and kindergartens nearby and Centrelink the closest business, the street is essentially always occupied and people are regularly walking, riding or travelling down the street.

Without a footpath to use, people are forced to walk on the road, which is filled with parked cars on both sides which leaves only a one way street with vehicles travelling both ways.

Obviously, the street is a dangerous site for anyone to use.

‘‘One day I watched an elderly lady with a walker make her way to Centrelink,’’ resident Wendy Ferris said.

‘‘She had to duck in and around cars to get there and she had a lot of difficulty looking for oncoming traffic.’’

Marc Greer uses a scooter to get about and has to use the road to get into town.

‘‘I can’t ride on the grass as I could get a puncture in one of my tyres and that would be a big problem,’’ he said.

‘‘Legally I’m supposed to use the footpath but there isn’t one.

‘‘The police could actually fine me for going on the road but there’s no other solution.

‘‘When I travel there’s only just enough room for me and a car to get past, it’s not safe.’’

While the 28 residents of Landsborough St have many possible solutions to solve their problems, their main goal is to have a footpath built and for Council to meet with them to discuss the matter further.

In a statement from Infrastructure Services general manager Richard Conway it seems there may be some traction in the works for the disgruntled residents.

‘‘During exhibition of Council’s Budget for the 2019/20 year, a submission was received from a resident requesting a footpath in Landsborough Street, between Anstruther and Heygarth Streets,’’ Mr Conway said.

‘‘The resident also took the opportunity to speak to councillors at the budget submission hearing in May, outlining issues with parking and pedestrian access in this area.

‘‘In responding to this submission, council has committed to undertake further investigation and consideration of options to ensure any proposal meets the objectives of the Campaspe Parking Strategy and the draft Active Transport Strategy.

‘‘It is hoped these investigations will be completed within the next few months. Once completed, a report will be presented to council for further consideration.’’