Traffic Lights for Tillyard–Ginninderra Drives Intersection
I seek leave to make a brief statement in relation to the petition that I have presented.
Madam Speaker, I have presented a petition signed by 1,329 Canberra residents calling on the ACT Government to install traffic control lights at the intersection of Tillyard Drive and Ginninderra Drive.
This dangerous intersection is a very serious issue in my own neighbourhood – one that affects not only my family and me but also many who live in my electorate of Ginninderra and thousands of other Canberrans every day.
As a resident of Charnwood, I have been aware for a long time of some of the risks that this intersection poses, and while I was working with my local community and standing for election last year, it became clear that installing traffic lights at the intersection of Tillyard and Ginninderra Drives is a top priority for many people whose travel requires them to use this intersection.
As most are probably aware, Ginninderra Drive is a major arterial road corridor with a two-lane, dual carriageway cross-section where it is intersected by Tillyard Drive. This intersection has drawn attention for many years now owing to a high number of traffic accidents. It was a part of the Federal Black Spot Program, and funds were allocated for signage and concrete island improvements in 2011. This, however, did not prove to be enough to reduce traffic collisions at this intersection.
Multiple accidents at this intersection have made the news since the 2011 improvements, including collisions between cars, motorcyclists and also cyclists. Some victims were lucky enough to be relatively unscathed, but others have been reported to require hospitalisation after being stabilised by paramedics.
Roads ACT crash statistics reported 300 casualty crashes in Canberra’s northern suburbs over the past five years. More than 200 out of the 300 crashes occurred at intersections, with ten of these crashes occurring at the Tillyard–Ginninderra drives intersection. This intersection is listed as one of the top-four most dangerous intersections in Belconnen, which were responsible for one-fifth of all casualty crashes at intersections in the area.
In addition to actual collisions reported, numerous local residents have related to me that they regularly experience near misses at this intersection and regularly observe other drivers having close calls as well, especially during peak hours and when lighting obscures vision. As a local resident who uses this intersection on a daily basis, I personally note its danger. I have spoken to constituents, Madam Speaker, who have told me that they take a longer, alternative route in order to avoid this intersection entirely, both for their own safety and for the safety of their passengers.
And it is not just local drivers who understand the need for safety improvements to this intersection. The Belconnen Community Council have also identified the intersection of Tillyard and Ginninderra Drives as problematic and encourage a specific study to be undertaken as the ACT Government considers the long-term effects of their infrastructure plans in West Belconnen.
In addition, the 2014 West Belconnen Technical Traffic Report reveals that, in particular, east-bound Ginninderra Drive in the left lane during morning peak hours exceeds the recommended traffic volume. The report also predicts the situation to worsen in the coming years, with a significant increase in traffic.
Unfortunately, Madam Speaker, despite these ongoing problems and increasing concerns, the ACT Government has to date failed to take the action needed to improve the safety of this intersection. The Tillyard Drive Traffic Study was initiated by the ACT government late last year, with the stated aim, to quote Minister Fitzharris, of ensuring that ‘all Canberra roads are safe for both drivers and other road users’. The study called for community feedback via survey and also hosted information sessions at Charnwood and Fraser shops, all of which sounds like the Government may finally be willing to do something to protect the people who use this dangerous intersection.
But no. Despite the name of the study, the intersection of Tillyard Drive with Ginninderra Drive has been specifically excluded from the Tillyard Drive Traffic Study. As you can no doubt understand, Madam Speaker, this has frustrated many of my constituents, more than 1,300 of whom have signed the petition that I present today.
In summary, Madam Speaker, the intersection of Tillyard and Ginninderra Drives is known to be dangerous, with a long history of accidents and collisions. Data from Roads ACT identify it as one of the top-four most hazardous intersections in the Belconnen area. The Belconnen Community Council have expressed concerns about this intersection, and those who use it know full well how risky this intersection can be, especially during periods of heavy traffic or when the sun is low on the horizon. And yet the ACT Government has done nothing to improve the safety of this intersection and even excluded it from their recent study supposedly designed to make Tillyard Drive safer. This is not good enough.
As a Member for Ginninderra and a resident of Charnwood, I represent and amplify the voices of my neighbours and all those who are affected by the dangers posed by this intersection. I would like to thank all those in my electorate who have raised this issue with me, and I am committed to continue raising this issue until traffic control lights are installed at the intersection of Tillyard and Ginninderra Drvies, for the safety of my constituents as well as the safety of all road users who pass through my electorate.
I commend this petition, with its 1,329 signatures, to the Assembly.