A GROUP of concerned locals has approached the Bombala Council to raise the issue of safety in our main street, calling for more disabled parking spaces, a reduced speed limit and a potential pedestrian crossing.
Local resident, Meryl Lock is one of the main campaigners who says that motorists ignoring road rules and heavy trucks passing through our main street are among the threats to older and disabled people.
“The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that within the Bombala shire’s population of 2,407 residents, 642 are over 65, and 1,400 are over 55,” Meryl says.
“We need to increase the safety of older people using the main street of Bombala.”
Meryl, disabled herself and forced to use a walking stick, said she knows of many cases where older people have almost been injured by cars or trucks speeding through the main street or crossing double white lines.
She and a group of supporters have approached the Council to express what they see as a need to reduce the speed limit in the main street to 40km/h and consider putting in a pedestrian crossing.
The group has also been very vocal about their wish to see more disabled parking in the main street, believing that the existing spaces outside the Post Office are too few and too far away from the supermarkets.
“Our elderly and disabled have to make their way too far down the street to reach the main shops, and we feel that we actually need two disabled spaces closer to Foodworks, and another two on the opposite side of the road closer to IGA,” she said.
The group is so passionate that they have not only approached the Council, they have also spoken with a representative of the Roads and Maritime Service (formerly the RTA), and will be meeting with Member for Monaro, John Barilaro.
This is in order to develop a petition that will be circulated around the local area to gather support for the safety measures the group feels are needed in the main street.
Meanwhile in response to the concerns being raised, the Bombala Council has now formed a Traffic Committee, which will include Cr Diane Ingram.
General Manager, Ngaire McCrindle says that Council has been investigating how to potentially improve disabled parking to make it easier for those in our community with access issues.
Council has already resolved to relocate one disabled car park closer to the pharmacy area, but further consultation will have to take place before progress can be made.
There is also consideration going towards creating another disabled parking space on the opposite side of the road closer to Foodworks, although a new kerb ramp would have to be provided in accordance with the standards.
It is estimated that the cost of establishing two new disabled parking spaces with the required kerb and signage would be in the vicinity of $3,000 to $4,000.
When it comes to the potential pedestrian crossing and speed limit change that the group is agitating for, most locals can appreciate that these are more complex issues.
There has been no indication from Council that either measure will be considered at this stage, but those campaigning for them urge the local community to keep their eye out for the coming petition.