Push for intersection upgrade ramps up with petition
Frustrated Bargara residents are continuing to mount pressure on the state government to conduct safety upgrades to the intersection of Bargara Rd and Hughes Rd.
Concerned parents met with Burnett MP Stephen Bennett on Wednesday to present a petition of 1200 signatures pushing for something to be done about the dangerous intersection.
However in a letter to Mr Bennett, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the government's position on upgrades to the road remained "unchanged" with "no plans for this intersection at this time".
Local dad Jason Taylor said it was "frustrating" the government didn't see the intersection as a priority.
"I think the petition validates what the people of Bargara are feeling, this is a dangerous intersection," he said.
"It's not only the people who live here and go to school at the Bargara State School - it's actually a motorist issue.
"You want motorists confident in that particular space that the basic safety precautions are being taken when children are crossing the road."
Mr Taylor said he hoped the petition would make the voices of locals heard.
"I would hope the state government does listen, I think it's an important part of making sure our communities are safe for our children," he said.
Mr Bennett said the Minister's response was "frustrating" and "disheartening".
"The calls from this community about some sort of recognition that there is an issue are again being ignored," he said.
"This Friday is 'Ride2School' Day, a nationwide program encouraging kids to get physically active on their journey to school, but how can we expect Bargara students to ride to school when there are real concerns for their safety?
"We want to encourage kids to lead healthy, active lifestyles, yet we are forcing them to mix it with traffic without any assistance."
In his letter, Mr Bailey said it was "important that intersection upgrades are prioritised for funding so that works are completed in those areas that need it most".
The letter stated while there were no plans at the moment to upgrade the intersection, there were other projects happening nearby including floodway upgrades and extending the road between Watsons and Wearings Roads.
"TMR will continue to monitor the intersection and will seek funding for an upgrade, should the opportunity arise," the letter said.
In a statement to the NewsMail Mr Bailey said maintained that crash history at the intersection had been historically low.
He said the department of Transport and Main Roads had also carried out pedestrian and traffic counts at school crossing times.
"Stephen Bennett has said himself he isn't a road safety expert, but he continues to think he knows more than the experts," he said.
"Over two separate school mornings in mid-February, they counted a total of five people crossing the road at that intersection.
"My department will continue to monitor it but given the number of people crossing there and data showing there's been only one crash recorded there since 2015, that intersection doesn't currently meet the criteria we rely on when planning upgrades."