Seeing red over six new signals

THE ROSE City could become the Red Light City with half a dozen new sets of traffic lights included in Main Roads’ 10-year vision for Warwick’s road network.

Six sets of traffic lights for Warwick and four lanes of traffic through the main stretch of town form the basis of the strategy, with no bypass in sight.

Councillors digested the State Government department’s traffic management study at this week’s engineering committee meeting.

It raised such a significant amount of questions, the council will now invite regional Main Roads’ director Tony Platz to discuss it.

Alexandra Dve will have four lanes from Ogilvie Rd to Freestone Rd and from Freestone Rd to south of Yangan Rd by 2015 according to the proposal.

These works would coincide with new traffic signals on the blackspot intersection at Yangan Rd.

Cr Peter Blundell was the first to raise his concerns.

“If all of this is occurring, by the time all those lights are in, you’re definitely going to need a bypass past Warwick to get through,” he said.

Further improvements are suggested in the plan for the northern approach to the OO Madsen Bridge and Albion St could be up for a significant revamp.

There is a suggestion of fully separating the traffic travelling in opposite directions to reduce right-hand turns.

This would spell trouble for Albion St businesses with traffic struggling to turn into them and there is also a suggestion road access and on-road parking could be reduced.

Mayor Ron Bellingham said he hoped it wasn’t a “fait accomplis” as council had already objected to a concrete median down the middle of the street and Cr Ross Bartley agreed, adding one business would have delivery difficulties should it happen.

It would be a similar story for Wood St businesses with a raised median planned to run from Albion to Dragon sts.

Cr Neil Meiklejohn said the traffic had to be kept moving along the highway.

“The difficulty is in reconciling safety with traffic management,” he said.

Traffic lights are planned for Percy and Albion sts in 2015 to address “the highest crash priority intersection”.

Then four years later plans are for right turn lanes and traffic signals on Dragon St.

The report recommends lights on Victoria St, Cleary/Bisley sts and Locke St.

If they’re not adequately phased, in 2021 when the 10-year plan is finished it could be a long drive through Warwick.

Councillors said they still needed to push for a bypass.

“They are no further from a bypass here than a flight to the moon,” Cr Mally McMurtrie said.

“If we don’t pursue it hotly, we’re going to be in trouble.”

Cr Bellingham said he thought the department was looking through bypass options but council had to focus on identifying a corridor.

“From a planning perspective we’ve got to know where that’s going to be so when it is built we don’t bulldoze through people’s homes,” he said.

The department’s Warwick Traffic Management Study is the second to be done, after the original was put together in May 2004 to identify a strategy to address then existing and anticipated traffic needs through to 2021.

This review was carried out last year to update the information.

The report requests council incorporates it into town planning provisions to discourage inappropriate development.

CEO Rod Ferguson suggested inviting Mr Platz down to discuss the plan, but Cr Cameron Gow urged him to make sure the meeting was before the plan was fully adopted.

The motion was moved.

What do you think of the 10-year plan? Email us at editor@warwickdailynews.com.au or call 4660 1317.

 

The suggested order of new traffic signals:

1. Percy St

2. Dragon St

3. Yangan Rd

4. Victoria St

5. Cleary/Bisley sts

6. Locke St



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