Stakehill Road residents one step closer to safety

Indigo Lemay-ConwaySound Telegraph
The crash at Mark Threlfall's home in April.
Camera IconThe crash at Mark Threlfall's home in April. Credit: Supplied

Residents of Stakehill Road in Baldivis are another step closer to safety after Rockingham councillors unanimously voted for the chief executive to write to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti to expedite the road’s expansion and realignment.

Locals who have been expressing their fears about the dangers of the road said they felt like it was finally a “constructive step forward” when the council passed the motion on November 23.

Stakehill Road resident Mark Threlfall, who voiced his concerns to the council after a car almost crashed through his home in April, alongside neighbour Janice Harwood, said their future was now in the State Government’s hands.

“We believe the City has assisted in every way they can to this point within their scope as local government. Many council members have shown genuine concern about the issues, advocating on our behalf, speaking up and pushing to get things done, and recognising that reducing the speed limit is only a temporary fix with far more needing to be done,” Ms Harwood said.

“Currently, there is insufficient land within the road reserve for any upgrade or safety provisions, and the plans for widening the road reserve lies with State Government. Our safety and our future is in their hands as we are currently trapped between Government departments and left with unsafe road.”

Mr Threlfall said he hoped the City would continue to advocate on their behalf and push the relevant Government departments for the realignment in the shortest possible timeframe to protect the safety of their future generations.

“It has been nearly 13 years since the freeway opened and the significant detrimental impact on our community began. It is unreasonable to wait another 10 years or more for our safety, amenity, lifestyle, health and wellbeing to be protected,” Mr Threlfall said.

Six local residents took part in the public question time to query the safety and progression of Stakehill Road, including voicing their fears that the speed limit reduction had increased the dangerous driving along the road.

“I’ve had numerous reports from residents and other road users, and have personally witnessed an increase in tailgating, speeding up to 140km, road rage, overtaking over double white lines on blind hills adjacent to intersections and driveways. What reassurances can the City give our community that the road will be safe for residents and other commuters until the road is realigned?” Ms Harwood asked the council.

Rockingham Mayor Deb Hamblin said the City undertook an independent Road Safety Audit for the road in 2019 and fully implemented all measures recommended.

“The City has been working closely with residents for some time in respect to their concerns and regularly reviews road safety on its road network and prioritises projects accordingly,” Mayor Hamblin said.

“It is important to highlight that there will be a period of adjustment for drivers when there are changes to the road network, and the City will be collecting regular traffic count data to determine the effectiveness of the speed limit reduction.”

The council voted unanimously for the chief executive to progress the matter further by writing to the Minister of Planning to expedite the expansion and realignment of the Stakehill Road Reserve and undertake a Road Safety Audit for the intersection of Stakehill Road and Ukich Place, Baldivis.

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