A FOUR minute video on the impacts of Singleton’s drive-in, drive-out coal industry workforce will be used to accelerate the town’s push for a highway bypass.
The bypass campaign and action on Singleton’s controversial Kelso and Church streets intersection have become key factors in Singleton Council’s integrated planning strategy, general manager Lindy Hyam said yesterday.
A tragic school bus and truck crash at the intersection on September 10, that claimed the life of a child and injured seven others, had partly prompted the move.
A report, by acting assets director Alan Fletcher, to last night’s council meeting put forward several options for the Kelso and Church streets intersection, including re-routing trucks and installing stop lights or a roundabout.
Widening Kelso Street from Edward to Bathurst streets would cost up to $4million, and if this had to be borrowed, the repayments would total almost $6.3million over 15 years.
Mr Fletcher’s report suggested that councillors apply for grant money through the state government’s “resources for regions” program which was funded by coalmining royalties.
The report also suggested councillors lobby state and federal government representatives to have seatbelts fitted to public transport vehicles.
The council had not dealt with the report before The Argus press time yesterday.
Mrs Hyam said integrated planning would link traffic and parking issues with other shire-wide strategies, such as the provision of housing and a central business district masterplan.
In the meantime, bigger stop signs had been erected on the Kelso side of the Kelso and Church streets intersection and council officials would be speaking to representatives of major Singleton retail businesses to encourage their suppliers to re-route deliveries away from the intersection, instead using the Mitchell Line, Putty Road and Ryan Avenue.
“The video illustrates visually the case for a bypass and increases understanding of the traffic congestion pressures and potential safety risks to residents and people travelling through Singleton,” she said.
“The video will be posted on the council’s Facebook page, Bypassforsingleton, and there will also be links from websites of the council, Roads and Maritime Services and The Argus.
Mrs Hyam said the council’s Facebook page had 475 people who “liked” it and it was attracting 1600 reads a week.
Mr Fletcher’s report said that Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) data showed there had been only one “reportable” accident at the Kelso and Church streets intersection since 2004.
Reportable accidents involved vehicles being towed from the scene.
RMS data for Kelso Street showed only five accidents, including the bus and truck crash, since 2004 and Church Street data showed just nine accidents since 2007.
The council does not have records for non-reportable accidents or near misses at the intersection.
The national “black spot” program required at least three crashes at the one site in the previous five years before it could be nominated for upgrade funding, the report said.
Work completed at the intersection included conceptual designs for civil construction, initial consultation with land owners and pricing of private assets.
Work underway included draft design for civil works and widening plus the relocation of services such as gas and electricity.