Upgrade for crossing near primary school

28 Feb 2018

Council voted on Tuesday night to move and improve a Rankin Park pedestrian crossing to ensure local school children can safely cross a busy road.

The crossing on McCaffrey Drive just north of Spencer Street, near Wallsend South Public School, will be moved towards Dangerfield Drive, where the kerb will be extended -- to narrow the road -- and street lighting and drainage improved.

Two bus stops on either side of the crossing will be moved, with the southbound one relocated from the approach to the departure side to improve pedestrian safety and visibility. 'No Stopping' restrictions will be altered accordingly.

"Council has voted to improve this crossing in line with contemporary road safety standards," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz, a member of the Newcastle City Traffic Committee, said investigations had found the existing crossing posed a safety risk for pedestrians and cyclists due to the width of the road and poor street lighting.

"Children are unable to see southbound traffic when a bus is at the stop near the approach to the crossing, prompting them to stand in the parking lane to see southbound traffic before crossing the road," Cr Winney-Baartz said.

"Meanwhile, it's been reported that southbound through traffic occasionally overtakes on the left of stationary vehicles stopped to give way for pedestrians at the crossing, or turning right into Spencer Street, resulting in safety risks."

Council also resolved Tuesday night to refer two traffic improvement proposals to the Newcastle City Traffic Committee.

Councillors endorsed a recommendation to refer a proposal for a pedestrian refuge at the Woodstock Street-Maitland Road intersection in Mayfield, and a raised pedestrian crossing at the nearby intersection of Tourle Street and Maitland Road to the committee for consideration.

The recommendation follows a Notice of Motion last December to assess seven intersections along Maitland Road and potential improvements for pedestrian safety.

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